Escalating conflict and insecurity in Libya are leading thousands of people to flee, taking their chances on unseaworthy boats across the Mediterranean.
An estimated 150 people drowned whilst fleeing Libya bringing this year’s toll in the Central Mediterranean Sea to at least 576 people. This entirely avoidable loss of life highlights the desperate lack of search and rescue capacity and the terrible plight of those fleeing Libya.
MSF has returned to the Central Mediterranean because large numbers of people are continuing to drown in the Mediterranean and governments are failing to respond to the crisis.
Sam Turner, MSF Head of Mission in Libya, recounts a night in which our worst fears would come to pass. The forced return of people fleeing Libya must stop.
MSF announces the resumption of life-saving search and rescue operations in the Central Mediterranean, and condemns the criminal inaction of European governments.
Between 5,000 and 6,000 refugees and migrants are arbitrarily held in Libya’s detention centres nominally under the authority of Tripoli-based Ministry of Interior. Away from the battle area, hundreds remain locked up for an indefinite period in harmful detention conditions, exposed to abuses and death, and driven into desperation.
Over 600 vulnerable men, women and children attacked in a detention centre for migrants and refugees in Tripoli last night.