TABLE OF CONTENTS PAGE
CONCEPT OF TORTURE ………………………………………………………………………………………………………..6
ROUTE FROM NIGER TO LIBYA…………………………………………………………………………………… ……………6
1)State and non-state actors……………………………………………………………………………………………………………..5
1)Actors ; Government and international community;……………………………………………………………………….9
2) Policy framework;………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..10
1)Actors ;Governments ,military/militia groups;…………………………………………………………………………..11-12
2)Policy frame work;………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….13
3) State progress at international level;……………………………………………………………………………………………..13
UNITED NATION INSTRUMENTS;……………………………………………………………………………………………………….14
SURVIVORS OF TORTURE ;………………………………………………………………………………………………………….16-20
PLACES OF TORTURE;……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..21
TYPES OF TORTURE;………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..21
This mapping report aims to illustrate the role of state and non-state actors with respect to abuses of torture and ill-treatment which refugees and migrants are subjected to. This study also analyses the conditions of detentions in which these individuals are relegated and provides detailed information on problematic issues raised in transit countries along the migration track, namely Niger and Libya.
This mapping report shows the human trafficking and smugglers network that have been mainly operating along the road between Niger and Libya. It also provides an insight of regional dynamics concerning irregular migration and refugees’ interaction with national and regional political entities.
The report authors and contributors endeavored to highlight State and non-State actors who are playing a key role in either taking the initiatives to protect migrants and refugees’ rights or neglecting their abuses and ill treatments. Furthermore, the worrying scenario of people fleeing violence, poverty and war witnesses the necessity of an external support through organizations, including International Organization for Migration (IOM) and other international human rights institution like Human rights Watch (HRW) and amnesty international which documenting cases of human trafficking, smuggling, rape, killings and torture within Niger and Libya’ jurisdiction in order to accomplish migrants and refugees’ demand for justice and eradicate inhuman treatment.
STRATEGY MAPPING RECOMMENDATION
AVENUES OF INTERVENTION OF TORTURE / ILL-TREATMENT.
Seeking to collaborate with humanitarian agencies like IOM and UNHCR and other local key actors in the documentation of torture and ill-treatment and updating the information on the website and follow up on urgent appeals.
Awareness raising and mobilizing other stakeholders at UN site events, Such include but not limited to Universal periodic reviews (UPR), OPCAT, UN monitoring treaty bodies, and events such the yearly international day in support of torture victims on June 26th.Furthermore, mobilizing donors to support local and international human rights organizations in the prevention of torture among the vulnerable groups.
Engaging the Media and the Anti-torture team in developing a 2 years action plan (2018-2019) that will focus on policy and best practice in the justice system for the prevention of torture within the African regional mechanism. Training of Anti-Torture Refugees, Migrants Human Rights Defenders (ARMHRD) whose role would be to monitor cases of torture and ill-treatment among the migrants and report such actions to network and relevant authorities.
Establish monitoring mechanisms in places of detentions and transit routes by initiating safeguards while mobilizing NGOs network in the use of public high impact litigation.
Advocating for the application of international standard and mechanism against torture in engaging anti-torture organization to monitor and submit alternative report to state universal periodic review (UPR) or regional mechanism and any other UN treaty body.
Lobbying for health-care providers in humanitarian /NGOs services, volunteers , and refugee groups to deliver and advocate better health-care services to the refugee/migrants community.
European countries should give priorities to refugees and migrants who are victims of torture and ill-treatment in providing data and the right to rehabilitation for victims of torture and ill-treatment during their journey to their destination.
DOCUMENTATION AND MONITORING.
In detention facilities
Promoting transparency and monitoring of places of detention in order to reduce the risk of torture and ill-treatment on persons deprived of their liberty. This can be achieved by opening up detention centers for the monitoring bodies which will further prevent detainees being housed in overcrowded conditions.
Release all migrants and refugees from detention centers and end the arbitrary detention of refugees and migrants in Libya. promotion of protective policies and practices related to immigration detention, including child detention.
Detainees should be provided with information regarding the rules and regulations of the detention facility in a language that they can understand. They should be given this information upon arrival and be provided an opportunity to ask questions during their entire period of detention.
Detainees should receive appropriate medical treatment, and where needed, psychological counseling. Unwell detainees who require specialized attention should be transferred to the appropriate medical facilities. A proper medical examination should be offered to detainees as promptly as possible.
Screening should be done as soon as possible to identify possible survivors of torture and detainees with other special needs in order to provide the appropriate care.
VI. International policies and conventions are important to the discussion of migration because they illustrate migration priorities of countries generally, as well as solutions and concerns raised by the global community.
In Transit routes:
I. Raise awareness of torture and ill-treatment by both state and non-state actors by involving community on the dangers of smuggling and trafficking.
II. There is need for right based responses to migrants in transit demanding state action on police checkpoints, smugglers network and cases of deaths in mysterious deaths in deserts.
III. Investigate all allegations of torture and other ill-treatment of refugees and migrants in Libya, and ensure that the suspected perpetrators are prosecuted in a transparent and fair trial to put an end to the vicious cycle of abuse.
The effective measures should be put in place to address this protection gap, noting also that the lack of research and data on torture and ill-treatment of migrants in transit and detention is a major obstacle to the formulation of effective and sustainable policy responses
I. Lobbying for Implementation of anti-trafficking law by Investigating and prosecution of smugglers and criminal gangs that targets migrants and housed them in a secret residence where they are kept indoors and subjected to numerous abuses.
II. Exposing the network of people and places of private residence by involving the community, media and strengthen civil society monitoring of immigration detention by sharing experiences, challenges and positive practice.
III. Advocating for effective legal and policy frameworks, so that torture and other forms of ill-treatment are criminalized and prevented in law and practice.
CONCEPT OF TORTURE
Before deepening the topic of torture in Niger and Libya, it is necessary to explicate what this term stands for. (1) In Article 1: Part 1 of the resolution of the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, torture is defined as “any act by which severe pain or suffering, whether physical or mental, is intentionally inflicted on a person for such purposes as obtaining from him or a third person information or a confession, punishing him for an act he or a third person has committed or is suspected of having committed, or intimidating or coercing him or a third person, or for any reason based on discrimination of any kind, when such pain or suffering is inflicted by or at the instigation of or with the consent or acquiescence of a public official or other person acting in an official capacity. It does not include pain or suffering arising only from, inherent in or incidental to lawful sanctions”.
1. interpretationunvfvtoftorture2011 http://www.ohchr.org/Documents/Issues/Torture/UNVFVT/Interpretation_torture_2011_EN.pdf.
ROUTE FROM NIGER TO LIBYA
According to the data collected by IOM in 2014, (2) more than 2,000 migrants and refugees, including migrants stranded on the way to IOM assistance centers in Niger, come from Gambia. Senegal, Nigeria, Chad, Mali, Algeria, Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroun, Côte d’Ivoire, Gambia, Ghana, Guinee Bissau, Guinee Conakry and Togo. However, the majority of them comes from Eritrea, Senegal, Gambia, Nigeria and Libya. Further according to IOM report on 14 November 2014 (3) an estimated 40,000 and 80,000 migrants transit annually through Niger, including Niger nationals and migrants from other West African countries including Gambia, Senegal, Mali, Burkina Faso and Cote d’Ivoire.
The route through northern Niger is characterized by an increasing number of irregular migrants. They turn themselves over to the hands of ghetto owners who provide them with shelters in transit hubs and arrange departures on 4x4s to travel through the desert. Under the EU’s pressure, state authorities in the region have adopted more stringent anti-smuggling measures.
The risk of investigating in state action without recognizing the problematic relationship between the Nigerian state and the North part of the region is becoming increasingly visible. In the case of northern Niger, the occurrence of armed conflicts and lack of internal security have deeply affected and paralyzed the economic growth as well as the rate of tourism in the area.
If, on one hand the migration crisis has impoverished the northern part of Africa, on the other hand, smugglers and businessmen who operate illicitly are being financially benefited by human trafficking. This is the case of Niger, Mali and Libya where individual entrepreneurs take part in illicit human trade in collaboration with smugglers.
2. transit routes IOM report 2014 pe.
3 . coopted routes report february 2017 https://www.clingendael.org/pub/2017/turning_the_tide/4_the_coopted_route__northern_niger/
State and Non-State Actors
State and non-State actors can play a dual role in the migration crisis as they can either be the perpetrators of torture and ill treatment or the life savers who can prevent migrants and refugees from being harassed and mistreated.
During their transition route, migrants are exposed to harsh conditions especially on check points where they are forced to undergo check-ups, pay taxes to the security forces. It also happens that they are abandoned in the desert by bus drivers or disappear along the route. To start their long journey, they are required to pay a certain amount of money which implies a form of harassment and illegal custody in case of withdrawing their payment. Both in Libya and Niger, migrants and refugees suffer abuses from government officials, smugglers, militia members and criminal gangs that collaborate with state agents who do not work in accordance with the law and commit several human rights violations.
When it comes to torture, it appears clear that the local security agents are voluntary ignoring and failing to protect migrants and refugees from abuses, ill treatments and sexual abuses. Indeed, they continue to use torture as a method to arrest and interrogate people who are suspected to belong to criminal gangs. They widespread systematic abuses at all level, including children and women, in detention cent res and military camps. According to Oxford report published in August 2017 (4) about 84 percent of refugees and migrants, who have come through Libya, suffered inhuman treatment and extreme violence.
4. migrants children violence August 9 2017 report oxfam https://www.oxfam.org/en/pressroom/pressreleases/2017-08-09/torture-rape-and-slavery-libya-why-migrants-must-be-able-leave
Migrants’ detentions in Libya and Niger are reported to exceed the official number of detainees allowed by both States and are deficient in hygiene, washing facilities, quality of food and drinkable water. People are experiencing critical health conditions which are likely to cause malnutrition, especially to women and children. The governments are not being successful in monitoring and provide adequate conditions to all detainees who become more vulnerable to be sexually assaulted and beaten by security guards.
According to the report drafted by IRIN and freelance information on June 1st (6) 2016, the Zawiya migrants’ detention center in northern Libya has been reported to exceed its official maximum capacity of 1,200 detainee’s with 1,727. Also, food and water supplies are inadequate and do not respect the general standards with no additional resources for the new arrivals.
When it comes to places when migrants and refugees are relegated, warehouses rise up on the list. A secret warehouse is commonly used by smugglers in Libya and Niger when migrants are arrested on the streets by the police, associated with local smugglers and charged with illegal trafficking. In these warehouses, they are beaten, isolated from families and all other individuals for a certain period of time without being served enough food. (6) In 2016, it has been estimated that about 30,000 migrants were being housed by smugglers and subject to hard labor.
Regarding Libya, the number of detention centers is estimated to be 34 across the country including Sabratha ,Zuwarah, Misurata, Benghazi, Zawiya, Tuway, sebha Surma (Saroma), Sirte, Zliten, Algwayaa, (Ahamra /Aburshada/ Bou Rashada), Alkhoms, Misratah, Aljufra (Jufra), Awbari, Brak Alshati, Algatroun (Al katrum) Ajdabiye, Soug Alhadika (Benghazi) and Tobruk (Tubrug).
The Libyan detention centers are overcrowded with no access to toilets or washing facilities, lack of ventilation, food and clean water. Detainees have no access to a legal process, lawyers are banned to consult with their clients. According to a report drafted by Amnesty International in 2017 (7) guards shot at least four people who were seeking to escape from al-Nasr migrant detention center in al-Zawiya as they subjected to arbitrary detention, torture, degrading treatments.
Most of the centers are run by the Department for Combating Illegal Migration (DCIM) that survived the fall of Gedhafi in 2011 and are located in areas where government control is absent. These centers are under the Interior Ministry, which is nominally controlled by the UN-backed and EU-recognized Government of National Accord, one of three competing authorities in Libya.(10) According to an international task force that visits the facilities, DCIM runs approximately 20 centers, most in western Libya, holding roughly 3,500 people. Militias and smugglers run many other non-official detention facilities.
Libyan law continued to criminalize foreign nationals who irregularly enter, leave or remain in the country. Many actual and suspected irregular migrants and asylum-seekers were seized at checkpoints and in-house raids or reported to the authorities by their employers. Thousands were held in indefinite detention pending deportation in facilities of the Department for Combating Irregular Migration (DCIM). Although they formally reported to the Ministry of the Interior, DCIM detention facilities were often run by armed groups outside the effective control of the GNA.
In these detentions, Migrants and refugees are subjected to inhuman treatments, sexual harassment, rape as a common practice inflicted to women. According to IOM,(11) in 2016 Libyan authorities held 5,000-10,000 migrants and asylum seekers in detention facilities where they faced torture and other form of abuses such as whippings, cigarette burns, and electric shocks. A 20-year-old guy from Eritrea, whose boat was intercepted at sea by the Libyan coast guard in January 2016, said that he was sent directly to a detention center in al-Zawiya and was beaten repeatedly. According to the report of UNHRC (8) Sabratha detention camp and other official detention camps hosts around 20,500 detainees in cramped conditions often without toilet, medical care and pregnant women with new babies and visible signs of abuses.
6. June 2016http://www.irinnews.org/news/2016/06/01/all-sea-libyan-detention-centres-crisis-point
detention crisis 2016 http://www.irinnews.org/news/2016/06/01/all-sea-libyan-detention-centres-crisis-point
7. victims targeted 2016/17 https://www.amnesty.org/en/countries/middle-east-and-north-africa/libya/report-libya/
9 ..horrific abuse report June 2016 https://www.amnesty.org/en/latest/news/2016/06/eu-risks-fuelling-horrific-abuse-of-refugees-and-migrants-in-libya/ HYPERLINK “https://www.amnesty.org/en/latest/news/2016/06/eu-risks-fuelling-horrific-abuse-of-refugees-and-migrants-in-libya/hrw”hrw
8. refugees and migrants held captive report 17 october 2017 UNHRC http://www.unhcr.org/news/briefing/2017/10/59e5c
Niger is known to be transit route of the current migration phenomenon which includes the areas of west and central Africa as well as and the northern part toward Libya and Algeria, as the embarking point to European countries, mainly Italy and Spain. (12) The majority of migrants are refugees are fleeing government persecution, violence, war, famine, inter-ethnic tensions, gender-based discrimination and poverty. These individuals are citizens of ECOWAS member countries, which implies that they can freely move to other countries and temporarily stay in Niger. Other countries of origin, such as Cameroon and Chad, have bilateral agreements with Niger, granting the same freedom of movement for their mutual citizens. Despite these rights, many migrants and refugees in Niger become victims of human traffickers, they are likely to experience human rights violations, torture and ill-treatment.
Agadez depicts the last stop before reaching Libya and continue their journey to the Mediterranean. (13)According to United Nation Office on Drugs and crime (UNODC), in May 2015, more than 4,000 migrants without an official travel permission passed through Agadez, whereas around 2,000 migrants and refugees per week passed through Agadez according to the report published in 2015 by Issouf Sanogo working for Agency France-Press in 2015. The weak rule of law, political instability and malfunctioning political institutions in the country contribute to the non-prosecution of perpetrators who are responsible for human rights violations.
In terms of legislation, in May 2015 Nigeria approved a specific law regarding human trafficking and smuggling, especially in the area of Agadez. Niger has put a lot of effort to improve the capacity of its security forces in order to protect migrants and refugees from smugglers. In 2015, Niger passed the Act on the illicit trafficking of migrants, in order to prevent and combat the illicit trafficking of migrants and to protect the rights of migrants who are being trafficked. The Act was required on account of the geographical position of Niger, which makes it a source, transit and destination country for migrants, particularly in Agadez, and the need to strengthen the legal framework to combat this phenomenon.
The fight against illicit trafficking of migrants is coordinated by the National Coordination Commission to Combat Human Trafficking and the National Agency to Combat Human Trafficking. (14)These two institutions are already active and are collaborating closely with other national, regional and international bodies in the area of trafficking. Moreover, Niger has also strengthened its own capacities to improve security and defense forces for the purposes of detecting and investigating trafficking as well as providing assistance to victims.
In 2015, largely in response to pressure from EU governments, Niger began cracking down on operators helping those who cross into Libya mainly from West and Central Africa. In return, (15) the EU has offered more than €2 billion in aid to help the region – also including other priority African countries – on issues ranging from security to economic development.
While the numbers of people transiting through Agadez has dropped since the crackdown began, some observers say it is simply forcing the business of people smuggling underground, making the illicit trade even riskier. Indeed, smugglers are now taking alternative routes and charging higher prices for their services. Those who call themselves “migration service providers” in Agadez also say their business of transporting people is now attracting more criminals. The smuggling work has become highly profitable and more attractive, because it entails a low risk for criminals to be detained or punished.
Actors: Government and International Community
The government has tried to provide capacity building to security forces which are dealing with smugglers and are adopting anti-trafficking laws to prosecute smugglers. The Ministry of Justice has identified as a key actor in the national system to reach important improvements and social stability. Indeed, it plays a key role in the national human rights system as it deals with international human rights and reports to all resort ministries. Also, DIHR works with the Ministry to improve reporting to the UN and the African system, which demonstrated to improve the coordination between the various human rights actors in Niger in 2015.
Niger has accepted external aid from international humanitarian organizations that set up their offices in the country trying to launch strategic projects to implement humanitarian support nationally. This has been the case of European Union, IOM, UNHCR and other UN agencies which continued providing medical support and training to security personnel.
IOM is providing humanitarian assistance, medical, counseling and emergency assistance, services to migrants and, (16) over 3000 members of the local community have taken part of programs on the management of migration flows and economic empowerment.17)
European Commission has stepped up its funding to guarantee emergency assistance for refugees, displaced people and the households hosting them in the remote region of Diffa by donating around €20 million to the region. (18) Moreover, the Danish Institute for Human Rights (DIHR) played a part in the international aid to Niger by improving the capacity of state actors to exercise their mandate and work in complementary for a better protection of individuals’ rights.
17. (DIHR) June -December 2016 EU, projects https://eeas.europa.eu/sites/eeas/files/factsheet-niger_en.pdf
Legally speaking, in 1999 Niger’s Constitution was the first legal document to explicitly prohibit slavery which was reaffirmed in 2001 highlighting citizens’ right to be free from slavery (Art. 14) and enshrining equality before the law without gender, social, racial, ethnic or religious discrimination (Art. 8). However, only in 2003 the Criminal Code (Act No. 61-027 of 15 July 1961) was amended by the introduction of penalties concerning slavery. (19) In 2015, Niger passed the Act on the illicit trafficking of migrants in order to prevent and combat the illicit trafficking of migrants and to protect the rights of migrants who are trafficked. The fight against illicit trafficking of migrants is coordinated by the National Coordination Commission to Combat Human Trafficking and the National Agency to Combat Human Trafficking. Niger has made a huge progress in preventing torture and ill-treatment, however the challenge to establish a National Preventive Mechanism remains a concern.
Niger has ratified the African Charter on Human and People’s rights and has joined the African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child and is a signatory of the Protocol to the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights on the Rights of Women in Africa. Niger has also ratified the Convention Against Torture (CAT) and OPCAT which designed the implementation the National Prevention Mechanism monitoring and investigation through National human rights commission and anti-torture legislation. Niger has made progress in the legislation of anti- torture law.(20) On 29th January to 4th February UN subcommittee for the prevention of torture (SPT ) visited places of detentions in Niamey region and advised authorities to prevent torture under the optional protocol to convention against torture (OPCAT) the UN experts noted that the National Human Rights Commission is currently officially mandated to monitor places of detention, the delegation also noted that much to be done in terms of improving condition of detention, reducing overcrowding in prison and the excessive use of per-trial detention.
The SPT visited Niger on February 2017 and met with high-level government officials by high level advisory visit by UN Subcommittee on Prevention of Torture (SPT), including the speaker of national assembly the acting prime minister and interior, the minister of justice as well as official of the court and public prosecution and the president of national human rights commission. They also met with representative of international organization, civil society the Bar Association and other actors.
Niger has issued new trafficking laws that have been implemented, however the government still need to investigate the cases of smuggling and kidnapping which remain a serious violation to refugees and migrants in the region. Therefore, the human rights situation on the ground appears to distance from the reality that the state tries to spread and shows that state’s efforts still have a long way to go.
19 . Niger pass traffiking law 2015 https://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/may/12/niger-passes-law-to-fight-people-smuggling
May 12 2016 migrants.html”migrants-niger/niger-passes-law-to-tackle-migrant-
20 .Spt visite Niger 2017http://www.ohchr.org/EN/NewsEvents/Pages/DisplayNews.aspx?NewsID=21148&LangID=E
Based on data provided by several embassies, the number of migrants in Libya is about 700,000 – 1 million people and most of them come from Egypt, Niger, Sudan, Nigeria, Syria, and Mali. The breakdown of the judicial system, lack of rule of law and unstable economic situation caused a general state of impunity across the country, in which armed groups, criminal gangs and smugglers started taking up the arms and controlling the migrants’ flow.
Migrants seems to experience serious human rights violations in Libya, including arbitrary arrests by non-State actors which imply detention for indefinite periods of time, harassment and general exploitation. Having said that, the majority of migrants who originally intended to stay and work in Libya, eventually chose to take a new journey across the Mediterranean Sea in order to find higher living standards and a safer living environment.
There is a high number of migrants who cross the sea and are being subjected to various violations while being forced to take a long journey in small boats. Many incidences are happening in the sea where people sink due to the overcrowding of vessels they are on. Most of them have permanent scars on their bodies, fractured hand, mutilated arms and experience tremendous health conditions with no access to medicines and sanitary services. Some of them can reach the Italian coasts or Spanish ones thanks to the help of the coastguards and other NGOs that rescue them and put an end to their long journey.
Actors: Government and Military/Militia Groups
The majority of actors which are active in the society consists of few local players who are relevant as they represent the interests of the region. In particular, the Libyan government and military groups are the main actors whose role will be described as follows according to the European Council on Foreign Relations: (20)“Since the summer of 2014, political power has been split between two rival governments in Tripoli and in Tobruk, with the latter having been recognized by the international community before the creation of the Presidential Council – the body that acts collectively as head of state and supreme commander of the armed forces – in December 2015. Several types of actors scramble for power in today’s Libya: armed groups; “city-states”, particularly in western and southern Libya; and tribes, which are particularly relevant in central and eastern Libya. At the moment Libya has three centers of power. The first is the Presidential Council (PC), which has been based in Tripoli since 30 March 2016. The PC is headed by Fayez al-Sarraj – a former member of the Tobruk Parliament, where he represented a Tripoli constituency – and it was borne out of the signing of the UN-brokered Libyan Political Agreement (LPA) in December 2015. According to this agreement, the PC presides over the Government of National Accord (GNA), also based in Tripoli. The second center of power is the rival Government of National Salvation headed by Prime Minister Khalifa Ghwell – resting on the authority of a rump of the General National Congress (GNC), the resurrected parliament originally elected in 2012 – is also based in Tripoli, although it no longer controls any relevant institutions. In October 2016, Ghwell tried to reassert himself but failed to gain wider support. The vast majority of the members of the GNC (also known as the “Tripoli Parliament”) have been moved across to the State Council, a consultative body created under the LPA which convenes in Tripoli and is headed by Abdul Rahman Swehli, a Misratan politician (and HoR member) who had previously been threatened with EU individual sanctions. The third centre of power is made up of the authorities based in Tobruk and al-Bayda, which were also supposed to work under the LPA. The House of Representatives (HoR) in Tobruk would become the legitimate legislative authority under the LPA but it has so far failed to pass a valid constitutional amendment to enshrine itself as an authoritative institution. Instead the HoR has endorsed the rival government of Abdullah al-Thinni which operates from the eastern Libyan city of al-Bayda. The Tobruk and al-Bayda authorities are under the control of Egypt-aligned, self-described anti-Islamist general Khalifa Haftar, who leads the Libyan National Army (LNA). The HoR has held only two quorate meetings throughout 2016 to reject the government line-up proposed by the PC”.
In Libya, there are many para-military and militia groups that fight each other and merely agreed on creating the opposition against Gadhafi. According to the 2016 report from Human Rights Watch, (21) “The United Nations-backed, internationally recognized Government of National Accord (GNA) struggled in 2016 to assert itself in the capital Tripoli, as two authorities—one also based in Tripoli and another in eastern Libya—continued to compete for legitimacy and control over resources and infrastructure. Forces aligned with all governments and dozens of militias continued to clash, exacerbating a humanitarian crisis with close to half-a-million internally displaced people. The civilian population struggled to gain access to basic services such as healthcare, fuel, and electricity. Militias and armed forces affiliated with the two governments engaged in arbitrary detentions, torture, unlawful killings, indiscriminate attacks, abductions, and forcible disappearances. Criminal gangs and militias abducted politicians, journalists, and civilians—including children—for political and monetary gain. The domestic criminal justice system remained dysfunctional, offering no prospects for accountability, while the International Criminal Court (ICC), despite having jurisdiction over Libya provided by the UN Security Council, failed to open any new investigation into ongoing crimes. The United States, United Kingdom, France, and the United Arab Emirates reportedly expanded their military activities in Libya to support forces in fighting extremists in Sirte and Benghazi. The Islamic State (also known as ISIS) lost control over large parts of its self-proclaimed capital in Sirte, where it had been based since June 2015, and remained embroiled in fighting with Libyan and foreign forces. ISIS groups summarily executed people for alleged witchcraft and “treason” and imposed a severe and restrictive interpretation of Sharia law in areas under their control. Tens of thousands of migrants, asylum seekers, and refugees from Africa and the Middle East transited through Libya on their way to Europe, with at least 4,518 drowning or going missing while crossing the Mediterranean in unsafe vessels. While in Libya, armed groups and guards at migrant detention facilities subjected many to forced labor, torture, sexual abuse, and extortion”.
libya tribune 2014 nternational.minbarlibya.com/2017/01/04/a-quick-guide-to-libyas-main-players-13-political-actors/
2016 hrw worldreport. https://www.hrw.org/world-report/2017/country-chapters/libya.
2017turning the tide the politics of irregular migration in the sahel and libya https://www.clingendael.org/publication/turning-tide.
Libya has witnessed a lawless state in the post -revolution period with a plus of illegitimate government in place with no constitution. It cannot be found a government accord on efficient judicial system, while judicial institutions suffered political interference and are perceived as tremendously weak by the population and international community.
In April 2013,(22) Libya also adopted a new law which criminalized torture, enforced disappearances and arbitrary detention and, in September 2013, the State issued a new law on transitional justice that required all conflict-related detainees to be released or referred to the public prosecutor within 90 days of the promulgation of the law. Nevertheless, torture still continues today in Libya especially during the first days of interrogation as a means to extract confessions or other information.
The Judicial system was not fully functioning, as courts in major cities throughout the country have not been operational since 2014. Violence driven by militias, civil unrest, and increased lawlessness continued to plague Libya throughout the reporting period. Extra-legal armed groups continued to fill a security vacuum across the country; such groups varied widely in their makeup and the extent to which they were under the direction of state authorities. (23)These groups also committed human rights abuses, including unlawful killings. Accurate information on human trafficking continued to be difficult to obtain, in large part due to the withdrawal of most diplomatic missions, international organizations, and NGOs in the region. Detainees are usually held without access to lawyers and occasional access to families, if any. Therefore, the judicial system seems to fail in building a comprehensive anti-torture framework and new laws also do not enshrine the prohibition of deporting, extraditing or transferring a person to a state where there are substantial grounds for believing that he/she would be subject to torture.
The anti-trafficking law enforcement efforts has been unable to carry out any anti-trafficking operations during the majority of the reporting period. Furthermore, the government did not report any investigations, prosecutions, or convictions of government officials—including Libyan Coast Guard officials, immigration officers, and Ministry of Interior’s Department to Combat Irregular Migration (DCIM) prison guards—who were allegedly complicit in trafficking crimes. The government also did not make efforts in investigating or punishing government-aligned militias or other armed groups that recruited and exploited children soldiers.
State’s Progress at the International Level
Libya has joined the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights and ratified several Conventions, such as the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, the International Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Racial Discrimination, the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women, lastly, the Convention on the Rights of the Child and its Optional Protocol.
Libya is also a part of the International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families and it has ratified the 1969 Convention governing the Specific Aspects of Refugee Problems in Africa (OAU Convention). However, the country has not ratified the Convention relating to the Status of Refugees of 1951 and still needs to implement the OAU Convention through the adoption of asylum legislation or establish asylum procedures.
22. 2013 libya law criminalize torture http://www.libyanjustice.org/news/news/post/75-the-new-libyan-law-criminalising-torture-enforced-disappearances-and-discrimination-a-first-step-but-more-is-needed
2016 Libya freedom press https://www.justice.gov/eoir/page/file/989506/download.
UNITED NATIONS INSTRUMENTS
The International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights Article 7: “No one shall be subjected to torture or cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment. In particular, no one shall be subjected without his free consent to medical or scientific experimentation. “
The United Nations Convention against Torture Article 1; the term ‘torture’ means any act by which severe physical and psychological pain is intentionally inflicted on a person to obtain information or a confession, punish him for an act he/she has committed or is suspected of having committed or intimidating or coercing him or a third person, or for any reason based on discrimination of any kind. It does not include pain or suffering arising only from, inherent or incidental to lawful sanctions. Article 16 calls on each State party to: “undertake to prevent in any territory under its jurisdiction other acts of cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment which do not amount to torture as defined in article 1, when such acts are committed by or at the instigation of or with the consent or acquiescence of a public official or other person acting in an official capacity”
European instruments : European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms (ECHR) Article 3: No one shall be subjected to torture or to inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.Inter-American Instruments American Declaration of the Rights and Duties of Man (ADRDM) 131 Article“Every human being has the right to life, liberty and the security of his person. “ 131 While largely superseded in the current practice of the inter-American Human Rights System by the more elaborate provisions of the American Convention on Human Rights (in force since 18 July 1978), the terms of the Declaration are still enforced with respect to those States that have not ratified the Convention, such as Cuba and the United States.
Inter-American Convention on Human Rights (ACHR) Article 5:. Every person has the right to have his physical, mental and moral integrity respected. 2. No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman, or degrading punishment or treatment. All persons deprived of their liberty shall be treated with respect for the inherent dignity of the human person”.
African Instruments African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights (ACHR) Article 5:“Every individual shall have the right to the respect of the dignity inherent in a human being and to the recognition of his legal status. All forms of exploitation and degradation of man particularly slavery, slave trade, torture, cruel, inhuman or degrading punishment and treatment shall be prohibited”.
International Criminal Law – The Rome Statute Article 7:Crimes against humanity:“For the purpose of this Statute, ‘crime against humanity’ means any of the following acts when committed as part of a widespread or systematic attack directed against any civilian population, with knowledge of the attack: (…); (f) Torture; (…); (k) Other inhumane acts of a similar character intentionally causing great suffering, or serious injury to body or to mental or physical health. 2. For the purpose of paragraph 1: (…); (e) ‘Torture’ means the intentional infliction of severe pain or suffering, whether physical or mental, upon a person in the custody or under the control of the accused; except that torture shall not include pain or suffering arising only from, inherent in or incidental to, lawful sanctions”.
“1. The Court shall have jurisdiction in respect of war crimes in particular when committed as part of a plan or policy or as part of a large-scale commission of such crimes. 2. For the purpose of this Statute, ‘war crimes’ means: (…); (ii) Torture or inhuman treatment, including biological experiments; (…) … (c) In the case of an armed conflict not of an international character, serious violations of article 3 common to the four Geneva Conventions of 12 August 1949, namely, any of the following acts committed against persons taking no active part in the hostilities, including members of armed forces who have laid down their arms and those placed hors de combat by sickness, wounds, detention or any other cause: (i) Violence to life and person, in particular murder of all kinds, mutilation, cruel treatment and torture”.
The introduction of Article 31 of the 1951 Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees provides as follows: (24)“The Contracting States shall not impose penalties, on account of their illegal entry or presence, on refugees who, coming directly from a territory where their life or freedom was threatened in the sense of Article 1, enter or are present in their territory without authorization, provided they present themselves without delay to the authorities and show good cause for their illegal entry or presence. The Contracting States shall not apply to the movements of such refugee’s restrictions other than those which are necessary and such restrictions shall only be applied until their status in the country is regularized or they obtain admission into another country”.
Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees.
Grounded in Article 14 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights of 1948, which recognizes the right of persons to seek asylum from persecution in other countries, the 1951 Convention relating to the Status of Refugees came into force on 22 April 1954 and is the key legal document in defining who is a refugee, their rights and the legal obligations of states.(25)
The Convention is both a status and rights-based instrument and is underpinned by a number of fundamental principles, most notably non-discrimination, non-penalization and non-refoulment.
The Convention stipulates that, subject to specific exceptions, refugees should not be penalized for their illegal entry or stay. The Convention also contains various safeguards against the expulsion of refugees. The principle of non-refoulment is so fundamental that no reservations or derogation may be made to it. It provides that no one shall expel or return a refugee against his or her will, in any manner whatsoever, to a territory where he or she fears threats to life or freedom.
The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) is tasked with providing international protection to refugees who fall within the scope of the Statute and seeking durable solutions for the problem of refugees.
Protocol relating to the Status of Refugees.
The Protocol of 31 January 1967 removed the geographic and temporal limits of the 1951 Convention, which was originally limited in scope to persons fleeing events occurring before 1 January 1951 and within Europe. The Protocol removed these limitations and gave the Convention universal coverage. The Protocol entered into force on 4 October 1967 and 146 States ratified it (as at 21 May 2014; current count).
Principle of non-refoulment
The ban on refoulment, usually known as the principle of non-refoulment, is anchored in the Geneva Refugee Convention. It says:
“No person may be forced in any way to return to a country where their life, physical integrity or freedom are threatened on any of the grounds stated in Article 3 paragraph 1 or where they would be at risk of being forced to return to such a country”.
Non-discrimination with Respect to Rights
States Parties undertake, (26) in accordance with the international instruments concerning human rights, to respect and to ensure to all migrant workers and members of their families within their territory or subject to their jurisdiction the rights provided for in the present Convention without distinction of any kind such as to sex, race, color, language, religion or conviction, political or other opinion, national, ethnic or social origin, nationality, age, economic position, property, marital status, birth or other status.
Human Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of their Families
1. Migrant workers and members of their families shall be free to leave any State, including their State of origin. This right shall not be subject to any restrictions except those that are provided by law, are necessary to protect national security, public order (order public), public health or morals or the rights and freedoms of others and are consistent with the other rights recognized in the present part of the Convention.
2. Migrant workers and members of their families shall have the right at any time to enter and remain in their State of origin.
The right to life of migrant workers and members of their families shall be protected by law.
No migrant worker or member of his or her family shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.
No migrant worker or member of his or her family shall be held in slavery or servitude.
international relevant law tribunals/refugeerefugeescouncil
SURVIVORS OF TORTURE AND IL-TREATMENT.
To the reader’s understanding, a report from Human Rights Watch will be now partially provided in order to present some cases of migrants and refugees according to the type of violations they experienced. (27) (28)
Lami, a 26-year-old Senegalese man, said he watched another man slowly die from illness, adding: “In Libya, if you don’t have money to pay back the people that assault you, then they beat you. I prefer to die at sea”.
Three-month-old Sola has been in detention for most of his short life. We found him in the women’s section, sleeping peacefully on a faded mattress. His young mother, Wasila Alasanne, tried to take him across the seas to Italy when he was just four weeks old. “Our boat broke and the police arrested us on the water,” she said. “Since then we have been in five prisons. We don’t have enough food. We don’t have the right to call our parents. They don’t know if I am alive or dead. My baby and I are suffering”. Wasila’s husband is being held in a different detention centre. She has no idea when they will be reunited, or when they will free. Her home country, Togo, has no ambassador in Libya. Now she can only dream of deportation, as she used to dream of Europe.
Menethueos, a 23-year-old Eritrean man who fled torture and conscription in his home country, said he was kidnapped and held for four months in Libya, with his captors demanding $2,000 (£1,600) for his release. “Many times they beat and tortured me, but I didn’t have any family to call,” he said. They beat you when you are lying on the ground, with whatever they have in front of them. If they have an iron bar, they use it. “They use a lot of things. They hit you with the back of the gun. Whatever they like. They tie your hands together and your legs together and you lie on your stomach and they leave you there, day and night. ” Some refugees sew money into their clothes in preparation for the ordeal, while others resort to giving up contact details for family and friends in their home countries.
A Somali man said he was “sold” by a Sudanese trafficker to a Libyan man for $2,000 (£1,600) to carry out agricultural labor, and saw several of his fellow captives die in the detention centre where they were held at night.
Emmanuel John, an 18-year-old who speaks perfect English, said he was beaten from the moment he crossed the border, and feared he would die. “The smugglers that brought us to Libya handed us to others, from the same network,” he said. “There are stops along the way until you arrive in the city. At every stop you have to pay money. And if you don’t, there will be beatings. “But it was not the physical abuse that pained him the most. “Two girls were raped in the room beside us,” he said. “It was a horrible moment. We couldn’t do anything. We didn’t have anything to defend ourselves. “He told us the girls were aged about 15 and 19, and were traveling with their family. The European Union wants Libya to do more to prevent migrants like Emmanuel reaching Europe. But those intercepted by the Libyan coastguard are being returned to an unstable country, with a collapsing economy, that can barely feed them.
Lami, a 26-year-old Senegalese man, said he watched another man slowly die from illness, adding: “In Libya, if you don’t have money to pay back the people that assault you, then they beat you. I prefer to die at sea. “Women are frequently sexually abused or forced into prostitution by traffickers, with many arriving in Italy pregnant with their abusers’ children.
In June 2015, Human Rights Watch interviewed 47 people in Sicily, 23 women and 24 men, who had recently traveled from Libya to Italy on smugglers’ boats. Those interviewed – from Cameroon, Eritrea, Gambia, Guinea, Ivory Coast, Nigeria, Senegal, and Sudan – said they had left their homes to flee persecution, including abusive military service, to escape forced marriage, or to seek education and work. They described severe abuses in Libya by government officials, smugglers, and members of militias and criminal gangs, and at times collaboration between officials and smugglers. Rampant lawlessness and violence across Libya convinced those who had gone there for work to attempt the perilous sea crossing to Europe.
In Libya, they do whatever they like because there’s no law, no nothing,” said a 31-year-old Gambian man, who told Human Rights Watch that criminals had raped his wife. Eight of those interviewed said Libyan forces they believed to be from the Coast Guards or Navy had intercepted their boat in various incidents and taken them and other passengers back to land, sometimes beating them. On shore, they were held in immigration detention centres with others apprehended on land for entering Libya irregularly or not having permission to stay.
Guyzo,” a 40-year-old Cameroonian, said he was detained in the southern city of Sebha in December 2014 for not having proper residence papers and spent a year in detention, in three different centers, the last six months in Tripoli: It was inhumane there. I have many scars…. Six men hanged themselves in my room. [They were] men who had been sodomized, who couldn’t take it anymore. It [rape] happened to me seven times. Four or five men at once, beating me to hold me down. If you resist, they call others to beat you more.
Human Rights Watch spoke with three people who said they had experienced sexual violence in immigration detention centers. “Nourah,” a 26-year-old Ivorian, said she was detained in June and July 2015 at a facility in Tajoura, on the eastern edge of Tripoli, because she did not have residence papers. A guard called Ibrahim repeatedly abused her sexually, she said: He didn’t have a thumb or index finger on his left hand, I remember very well. He would come to the room and roll his cigarette and smoke among us. It was a strange smell. He chose me. He took me, he had the condom in his hand. He made me give him oral sex. He came every night. Only Fridays he didn’t come.
Nourah said other guards took women away and abused them sexually. “There was a man who covered his face, he was the meanest,” she said. “He would come into our room, with three or four other men. They would come to choose the girls. One girl, an Eritrean named Amira, they chose her every time. Every time they came for her she would cry. “One day we tried to escape, going through a hole in the wall,” Nourah said. “Seven girls got away but they caught the rest of us. The guards stripped one of us, a Nigerian girl, and raped her in front of us in the courtyard. “
Migrants sit at a detention centre in Tripoli after they were detained by the Libyan authorities on September 17, 2015.Several men said they witnessed or heard about sexual abuse in the detention centres where they were held. “Jabril,” 30, from Gambia, who spent six months in 2015 at a facility in Subratha after his boat was intercepted, said he saw guards frequently take women away. “At night they take women to use them,” he said. “They go and say, ‘One, two, three – come here.’”
“Sondi,” a 30-year-old Nigerian man, said he spent one month detained in Tripoli, locked in a cell with an iron door that had a tiny window. The women were kept separately but he managed to speak with one of them when he went to get water for the cell’s only toilet. “They [the guards] would take the Nigerian girls and sleep with them,” he said. “I spoke to one when I went to get water, and the girl told me it had happened to her and other girls. “
A psychologist working at the Mineo asylum reception centre in Sicily said she and her colleagues have noticed an “exponential increase” in reports of sexual violence over the last six months. “I know because we’ve seen an increase in requests for support,” she said. “Sometimes the catalyst for the request for support is a shipwreck, but then people talk a lot about sexual violence. It’s impossible nowadays to get through Libya without being jailed, abused. “
A doctor who has worked for one year at the Pozzallo migrant registration centre in Sicily said that women who travel through Libya frequently report sexual violence and request medical care, including abortions. On every disembarkation of people who were rescued there is at least one case of rape, and sometimes up to four, the doctor said.
The availability of staff psychologists and mental health services in centres for new arrivals and longer-term reception varies. To fill the gaps, nongovernmental organizations, including Doctors for Human Rights (Medici per i diritti umani), Doctors Without Borders, and Terres des Hommes, run projects in first-arrival and reception centres for victims of sexual violence, torture, and survivors of shipwrecks. But the large number of people arriving, limited capacity, and overwhelming needs prevent many people from getting needed care. Most of the women and men Human Rights Watch interviewed said that no one had asked them specifically about sexual violence they had experienced during their journeys.
Killings and beatings:
Migrants and asylum seekers in Sicily described extreme violence in Libyan immigration detention centers, including beatings and deadly shootings. Medhane,” a 21-year-old Eritrean, said he was detained twice during his 18 months in Libya. He was first apprehended in a July 2015 raid and held for about four months in the DCIM-run Salaheddin facility in Tripoli because he had no residence papers. He stayed in a large hall with about 500 people, sleeping on the floor, with occasional visits from doctors. “Their excuse for beating us was that we didn’t have the papers,” he said. “They used hoses to hit us everywhere whenever they wanted. “
Jabril from Gambia said that in 2015 Libyan forces twice intercepted boats he was on, and sent him back to Libya, where he was detained and abused. He spent six months detained in Subratha, and then another six months in Tripoli. In both places, Jabril said the guards routinely beat him and the other detainees: “If you are talking, they ask, ‘What are you saying? What are you saying? Stop.’ Then they beat you. Or they beat you when you’re sleeping. “
“The smugglers gave 500 dinars [US $360] to the prison director per prisoner,” he said. “Then the prisoners paid $2,000 to the smugglers [to go to Europe]. “Former detainees, and others who were not detained, described an apparent cooperation between smugglers and Libyan detention officials, including cases of detainees performing forced labor and paying to be released. “I saw the relations between smugglers and police,” said a 44-year-old Eritrean man who spoke Arabic and spent five months working in Tripoli. “The head of a prison sells Eritreans to smugglers. It’s big business”.
“Aisha,” a 27-year-old Gambian, said criminals captured and raped her and another woman in March 2016 before handing them over to what she called “police. “ She was then detained in an immigration facility in Zawiya, where she said she was also raped, and then transferred to the DCIM-run facility for women in Surman.Others spoke of being forced to work outside the detention facility. “When they choose you, it’s just the guards pointing and saying you, you, you,” said “Aman,”
a 22-year-old Eritrean who spent three months in detention in Zawiya after Libyan forces intercepted the boat he was taking to Italy. “But then if you work well, the employer will ask for you. ““The commander [of the detention facility] would come once in a while, saying we were there because we were illegal,” Aman recalled. “He said they were working on a deal with the smugglers to take us to Italy. “
“Aniyan,” a 22-year-old Nigerian, said he was detained with four other migrants who were working with him in a car wash in Tripoli and spent August to December 2015 in a Tripoli detention facility. “In four months, I saw three people die [from illness], one Ghanaian, one Senegalese and another guy,” he said. “We were beaten a lot… I still have pain on my back [from the beatings]. “
“Foday,” a 27-year-old Gambian, said he spent from December 2015 to May 2016 in Tripoli’s Salaheddin detention centre, run by DCIM, with about 600 other men. He was held in a large room with no windows, sleeping on the ground without a mattress, blanket or sheets. “They would make us put our hands under our legs and then beat our feet with sticks or whatever they had,” he said. “Sometimes they took belts and whipped me…. We’d go outside only for work, or for beatings. They beat us in the hall, but sometimes they took us out. They would spray us with water and then beat us. All the time they were shooting. They shot at people trying to escape. “
Jabril, the 30-year-old Gambian, said he saw the guards at Subratha break up a scuffle between detainees by opening fire and killing a man. “One day I saw them come to the prison [to] give bread, give food,” he said. “Everyone ran to come and get the bread. Then they shot at the men. One man was dead, two were wounded. Why shooting? At nothing. They took the dead man. I don’t know where. The other men they took to the hospital and brought them back. “
“Abdoulaye,” a 21-year-old Guinean, said that in May 2016 six men in camouflage military uniforms in a large Zodiac inflatable speedboat intercepted the boat he was in, beat people on the boat, and took them to an immigration detention facility in Zawiya. Two of the men boarded his boat, and one drove them back while the other hit people with a baton. “They put us all in the middle of the boat, and he hit us with a baton and a Kalashnikov, anyone he could reach,” Abdoulaye said.
We left around 3 or 4 in the morning, but we got lost. A Libyan Zodiac, black with the Libyan flag, caught us. Six or seven men were on board. They came up beside us and threw a rope to attach our boat to theirs, but we refused. They said ok, go, and we cheered but we realized later they had taken our walkie-talkie [phone]. Then the Libyans started circling around and around our boat, really fast, making big waves. The planks at the bottom of our boat started to break, one by one. There was panic on board. People were moving from one side to the other. There was a girl in the middle, with her sister, and near me. Nigerian. She was trampled, she died. We thought she had just fainted.
Ibrahim said the Libyans sped off, and the group was eventually rescued by a European boat. “Our boat was falling apart,” he said. “I was one of the last ones off. I saw the girl, she was maybe 16 or 17. Her skin was practically flayed. I still have nightmares. I see myself on that boat”.
“Issouf,” a 20-year-old Ivorian, said two officers in military uniform on a fast Zodiac intercepted his rubber dinghy on a Sunday in late May, and one of the officers boarded Issouf’s boat: We asked to keep going. They [the officers] demanded a phone number to call the trafficker but we didn’t give it to them. I had the phone, but our driver made a sign to not give it to the officer. I dialed anyway but there was no answer. The other officer said to let us go, but the one on our boat said no. He was wearing a beige camouflage uniform. He drove us back to Libya.
When we were close to the shore, he pushed people into the water. There were 125 people on our boat, and only 105 made it. I think 20 people died. I hung onto the boat, and ended up in the water when it was only knee-high. It was around 11 in the morning, near Sabratha but not a real port.
“Aman,” the 22-year-old Eritrean, said Libyan forces blocked his boat on two occasions but he made it on the third try, arriving in Italy in March 2016. On the first try, in late October or early November 2015, two Libyan sailors on a fast Zodiac, one wearing a blue uniform and the other with an off-white uniform, came after about two hours at sea. The word “police” was written on the boat in English, he said.
Abuse by smugglers and criminal gangs:
The violence and exploitation often began when migrants crossed Libya’s southern border, from Sudan, Niger, or Chad, interviewees said. Driven through the desert on smugglers’ trucks, the migrants were frequently beaten or tortured and forced to work. Five women interviewed said smugglers or criminals had raped them in Libya. A sixth said that smugglers had sexually abused her there and that she saw men take other girls away. Three Eritreans, including a 16-year-old girl, said smugglers had raped them in Sudan, and a fourth said smugglers had sexually abused her there. Another Eritrean woman said criminals had raped her in Chad.
“Aisha,” the 27-year-old Gambian, said she spent about 11 months in Libya cleaning houses, beginning in mid-2015. In March 2016, an armed gang in Tripoli robbed the group of Gambians she was with and tried to separate her and another woman from the group. Her cousin intervened, and they shot him dead, she said.
Members of the gang raped both Aisha and the other woman. “They raped us, two men each. You understand?” she said. “I was shouting. They made me bleed. “The gang members then took the two women to what Aisha said was a police station and handed them over to the police. She stayed there for five hours and was then taken to a prison in Zawiya, where she stayed one week, she said. During that time, she said guards raped her three times.
“Arsema,” a 22-year-old with Eritrean and Ethiopian parents, said a smuggler had raped her in southern Libya. “One smuggler, he took us to his house – me and a girl – she was 18,” she said. “First he abused me – rape. Then he asked me to clean his house. But I was crying and I couldn’t. Another man, the guard of his house there, he abused the 18-year-old sexually. “
An 18-year-old woman from Eritrea, “Tsibekti,” who also said a smuggler raped her, said that women traveling through Libya were paying 80 dinars in Khartoum, Sudan, for an injection they were told would prevent pregnancy because they knew the risks in Libya. She and three other women who said they were also injected in Sudan did not know the type of medication.
Another woman from Eritrea, 38-year-old “Makda,” told Human Rights Watch that smugglers had sexually abused her in Sudan and Libya. She also saw unidentified men take other women away in Libya. “I saw how they came to the place where we were waiting for the boats and they took the girls,” she said. “I can’t say if they were police or smugglers but they were the people in charge of protecting us. “
Makda said two men took two women. “The women were gone for about 30 minutes,” she recalled. “[When they came back] you couldn’t even talk with them or you would get beaten but we’re women and we could see what happened to them – they were crying. “ Makda thought she was not raped in Libya because she was traveling with her four-year-old son. Men interviewed by Human Rights Watch also reported abuse, including forced labor on farms and construction sites, by smugglers and other private actors.
“Michel” from Cameroon said he spent two years in detention in Kufra from 2014 to 2015 at the hands of an unknown group who demanded 5,000 dinars ($3,600) for his release. Because he and others could not pay, they were forced to work on a farm, he said. “Kufra was hard, lots of people died,” Michel said. “They did so many things to me, I can’t talk about it. It’s like a horror film. “Michel showed Human Rights Watch two scars on his arms where he said guards in Kufra had burned.
27. migrants,asylum seekers face killings,torture and rape Http://www.hrw.org/news/2016/07/06/eu/NATO-europes-plan— detention_us_5748b493e4b0dacf7ad4f29f 2011
COMMON PLACES OF TORTURE.
In detention centers / unofficial detainment camps/makeshift.
During arrest by police / military.
In shelters/refugee’s camps
places of Interrogation.
In the boat, coastal/sea.
TYPES OF TORTURE /ILL-TREATMENT.
Detention for period of time.
Over Overcrowding in detention
Without light and ventilation.
Denial of enough food and water.
Denial of treatment.
Human rights watch,
Libya National Human Rights Coalition,
International detention coalition. (ICD)
Global detention Project-(GDP)
National commission for Human Rights-Niger.
Collectif des organisation de défenses des Droit de L’homme et démocratie (CODDHD) Niger.
Bar association, Lawyers for Justice in Libya.
CODDHD-NIGER and National human rights commission-Niger.
Media foundation for West Africa.
International organization for migration (IOM)
United Nation office higher commissioner for refugees-Niger
International Rescue committee (IRC), European.
Médecins Sans Frontières (Doctors without Borders)
UN Agencies submissions
UNCTNE – UN Country Team Niger,
UNESCO – United Nations Educational,
Scientific and Cultural Organization,
Libya Humanitarian Agency Contacts List.
Coastal Guards Rescue mission
The Italian Navy and Coast Guards.
The EU’s Frontex mission Triton.
The EU’s naval operation EUNAVFOR MED Operation Sophia,.
As well as numerous non-governmental organizations,
The European Commission is among the largest donors providing life-saving and emergency aid in Niger. (29) In 2016, it supported the treatment of over 265 000 children under five years old suffering from Severe Acute Malnutrition, including those who fled violence in Nigeria and Mali. This approximately represents 70% of the total national caseload treated, estimated at 400,000. The EU’s humanitarian response also goes to the prevention of Severe Acute Malnutrition in the most vulnerable regions. Food assistance is provided mostly through cash and vouchers’ schemes associated to complementary nutritional food rations to children from 6-23 months old as well as pregnant and breastfeeding women from very poor and vulnerable households.
International organization of migration (IOM) Niger is launching (30) 20 community-based reintegration projects for over 3,000 returning migrants in five of the primary countries of origin – Senegal, Guinea Bissau, Mali, Guinea Conakry and Cameroon – with support from the EU Emergency Trust Fund for Africa and as part of the Migrant Response and Resource Mechanism (MRRM).
US state Department of Bureau of population.
The Italian Ministry of the Interior and the UN central emergency Fund (CERF).
2017 October European civil protection and humanitarian aid operation
29 . provide aid in Niger http://ec.europa.eu/echo/where/africa/niger
30 . communitt based integration march -September 2017https://www.iom.int/countries/Niger
PICTURES OF MIGRATION TORTURE IN DETENTION.
Migrants at a detention center in Zawiyah, Libya, in June. Credit Taha Jawashi/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images
A migrant is rescued from the Mediterranean Sea © CNN 2017
A migrant is lowered into the water during a rescue mission © 2017, CNN
A detainee shows the injuries he has sustained from beatings after just four days in the detention center in Libya © 2015, IRIN
This teenage boy arrested for being a suspected militant had melted plastic poured on his back in 2013 © Amnesty International
HOW REFUGEES AND MIGRANTS FACE TORTURE AND ILL-TREATMENT.
Migrants and refugees who pass through Niger to Libya account to more than 75% face torture and ill-treatment in transit routes, warehouses, detention centres, police check points, in hands of police , traffickers and smugglers, majority of them victims /survivors are children and women . For the last 5 years between 600,000 to 800,000 survivors of torture and ill-treatment being majority of them resides in Italy and other European countries,According to report jointly by dated 6th July 2017 in the reference June 2017 (31) the Oxford and its Italian partners Borderline and MEDU interviewed 158 migrants who had arrived through Libya. 84 percent of them said they had experienced degrading and inhumane treatment, extreme violence or torture in Libya. A vast majority – 74 percent – said they had witnessed people they had been traveling with being murdered or tortured. A similar proportion told of deprivation of water and food. 70 percent of people said they had been detained in official or unofficial prisons while in Libya.
C.B., a 28-year-old man from The Gambia, was imprisoned for seven months in Libya until the prison was attacked by a gang and he managed to escape. He said he had worked in Libya but never got a salary before his employer sold him to the ‘Asma boys’, a criminal gang. “There were about 300 people in the prison. (…) I was made to do all kinds of work, sometimes they brought me to do robberies at night. There was hardly any food. They beat me continuously and violently, sometimes they tortured me.”K.M. a 27-year-old mother from Ivory Coast, said she was tortured and raped in Libya. “One day a group of soldiers entered our home. I was terrorized. They were shouting and waving their guns. They beat us and I was violated in front of my brother and my daughter. My brother tried to defend me and was savagely beaten. They took my daughter as well and violated her with fingers.”
In February 2017, EU member states backed a dodgy Italian deal with Libya that has no safeguards for human rights and international law. The United Nations estimate that over 1.3 million people in Libya need humanitarian assistance and it was specifically worried about the levels of abuse being suffered by migrants. Cooperation with Libya as a way to stop people from reaching Europe only risks exposing these people to even more intensive suffering and even death, and deals a serious blow to core European values. «Oxford international deputy director for advocacy & campaigns the then Natalia Aloso ,said.
And few months later according to report dated 9th august 2017 (32) by Oxford Rape, torture and slave labor are among the horrendous daily realities for people stuck in Libya who are desperately trying to escape war, persecution and poverty in African countries, according to a new report by Oxford and Italian partners MEDU and Borderline Sicilia. The report features harrowing testimonies, gathered by Oxford and its partners, from women and men who arrived in Sicily having made the dangerous crossing from Libya. Some revealed how gangs imprisoned them in underground cells, before calling their families to demand a ransom for their release. A teenager from Senegal told how he was kept in a cell which was full of dead bodies, before managing to escape. Others spoke of being regularly beaten and starved for months on end.
Oxford and its partners are calling on Italy and other European member states to stop pursuing migration policies that prevent people leaving Libya and the abuse they are suffering.158 testimonies, of 31 women and 127 men, gathered by Oxford and MEDU in Sicily, paint a shocking picture of the conditions they endured in Libya:
All but one woman said they had suffered from sexual violence
74% of the refugees and other migrants said they had witnessed the murder and /or torture of a traveling companion
84% said they had suffered inhuman or degrading treatment, extreme violence or torture in Libya
80% said they had been regularly denied food and water during their stay in Libya
70% said they had been tied up
This was according to Barbieri, Executive director of Oxford Italy said,
The study commissioned by UNHCR found that the profiles and nationalities of people arriving in Libya have been evolving over the past few years, with a marked decrease in those originating in East Africa and an increase in those from West Africa, who now represent well over half of all arrivals to Europe through the Central Mediterranean route from Libya to Italy (over 100,000 arrivals in 2016).
(33)According to the study, refugees and migrants in Libya are predominantly young men (80%), aged 22 on average and traveling alone (72%). Women tend to transit towards Europe over a short period of time and many of them, particularly those from West and Central Africa, are victims of trafficking. The number of unaccompanied and separated children traveling alone is rising, and now represents some 14% of all arrivals in Europe via the Central Mediterranean route. These children come mainly from Eritrea, The Gambia and Nigeria. Since July 2015 more than 130,000 unaccompanied and separated children have arrived in Europe. The United Nations reports more than 5,000 children traveled to Greece, Italy, Bulgaria and Spain during the first three months of this year. It says almost 70 per cent of them traveled alone.
In March, Italy’s parliament passed a law to support and protect the record number of unaccompanied and separated children who had arrived in the country. Almost 26,000 did so in 2016. That number is expected to increase this year. The aid agencies report that most unaccompanied children arriving in Europe were boys between the ages of 15 and 17.They reported that 94 per cent of the 3,714 children who arrived in Italy were unaccompanied or separated. Most came from Bangladesh, Gambia, Guinea and Ivory According to the report on early September 2017 in Geneva (34) a joint study by the U.N. Childcare’s Fund and International Organization for Migration says up to three-quarters of refugee and migrant children and young people trying to reach Europe are abused, exploited and subject to trafficking. The study, based on 20,000 interviews, 11,000 with refugee and migrant children, describes in detail the appalling levels of human rights abuses to which people on the move are subjected.
It finds children and young people traveling on the central Mediterranean route are at a particularly high risk of exploitation and trafficking. U.N. Children’s Fund spokeswoman Sarah Crowe told VOA those moving along this route are mainly young Africans traveling across the Sahara from the Ivory Coast, Gambia, Nigeria, or other West African countries.“We also see from this report that the children who have less education and who are coming from sub-Saharan Africa have got a greater risk of being exploited, beaten and discriminated against at every step of the way, but specifically in Libya,” Crow said. The report says most of the migrants and refugees passing through Libya are exposed to lawlessness, militias and criminality. A spokesman for the International Organization for Migration, Leonard Doyle, said the young people, ages 14 to 24, pay smugglers between $1,000 and $5,000 for their perilous journey.
32 .9 August 2017https://www.oxfam.org/en/pressroom/pressreleases/2017-08-09/torture-rape–and-slavery-libya-why-migrants-must-be-able-leave
33 .children faces abuses April 212016 https://www.voanews.com/a/europe-bound-migrant-refugee-children-face-abuse/4025317.html
This mapping report was conducted by the African Centre Against Torture (ACATl ) in collaboration with Human Rights Information and Documentation Systems (HURIDOCS). Our appreciation goes to Bert Verstappen and HURIDOCS staff for their valuable contribution, also, special thanks to Anna Silvia Petrignano for editing this project. Many thanks go to my colleagues who provided valuable inputs and resource from Human Rights Watch (HRW), Amnesty International (AI) International organization for migration (IOM), United Nation High commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) Global Detention Project (GDP), International Coalition Detention (ICD) and Netherlands institute of international relations for allowing me to consult their precious sources which have vitally contributed to the mapping of this report.
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