The National Human Rights Commission in Libya has called on the Libyan authorities and the international community to take action to close migrant detention centers in Libya because of the coronavirus.
All migrants who attempt to cross the Mediterranean without succeeding are intercepted by the Libyan coastguards and end up in these detention centers where living conditions are appalling.
According to the UN refugee agency (UNHCR), in January alone, 1,040 migrants and refugees were intercepted at sea and taken back to detention camps in Libya.
For Walid Elhouderi, head of the Libyan Human Rights Commission, this situation is unacceptable, especially with the coronavirus crisis. “Even if these camps represent less than 5% of the African migrant population in Libya, we know that these people have absolutely no chance of surviving. We expect an unprecedented human calamity.”
He said the National Human Rights Commission in Libya puts the main responsibility on the UN Refugee Agency as well as on the local governments. He said militias are doing everything to create and maintain this barbaric situation, which is fruitful for them, as they are trafficking for their own unscrupulous gain.
Conflict-torn Libya has not recorded any coronavirus case so far.