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Doctors Without Borders stop helping migrants in Tripoli

While an international conference on a future of Libya in stability and peace is taking place in Berlin, Doctors Without Borders (MSF) are forced to stop their aid in two internment camps in Tripoli until further notice after repeated violence against migrants. The aid organization announced this in a broadcast on Wednesday.

"The continued use of violence and serious injuries to refugees and migrants as well as the security risk for our employees" in Mabani and Abu Salim have reached a level that we can no longer accept - until the violence stops and the conditions change Médecins Sans Frontières can no longer provide humanitarian or medical aid in these facilities, ”said Médecins Sans Frontières operations manager in Libya, Beatrice Lau.

Since February, abuse and violence against people detained in these overcrowded detention centers have increased steadily. Within just one week, MSF teams witnessed at least three violent incidents resulting in serious physical and psychological damage. For example, people who tried to leave their cells to be treated by doctors were arbitrarily beaten.

"The increase in violence since the beginning of 2021 goes hand in hand with the simultaneous significant increase in the number of refugees, migrants and asylum seekers who are intercepted at sea by the EU-funded Libyan coast guard, forcibly returned to Libya and imprisoned in internment camps On June 19, more than 14,000 people were intercepted and returned to Libya this year, which already exceeds the total number of forced returns in 2020, "write Doctors Without Borders.

"This has led to severe overcrowding and a worsening of the already desolate conditions inside the camps. Most of them lack ventilation and natural light; some are so overcrowded that up to four people have to share a square meter of space, which is what the people forces people to lie down in shifts and sleep. People do not have regular access to clean water and sanitation. In addition, migrants and refugees receive too little food."

Doctors Without Borders are calling for an end to the violence and an improvement in conditions in Mabani and Abu Salim. In addition, the longstanding practice of arbitrary detention in Libya must end and migrants who are exposed to life-threatening risks in the country must be evacuated.

Photo: World Today News
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