Women migrants held in detention camps in Libya are being subjected to horrific sexual violence at the hands of guards, Amnesty International said in a report today, Thursday, and that they are forced to have sex in exchange for clean water and food.
The report, which focused on migrants intercepted in the Mediterranean and taken to Libya in 2020 and 2021, notes deteriorating conditions in the camps despite their recent placement under the control of the Libyan Ministry of Interior.
Pope Francis and United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres have called for it to be closed.
“Let me have sex with you so I can set you free”
One woman told Amnesty International that the camp guards told her, “Maybe you want fresh water and beds… Let me have sex with you so I can set you free.”
She is one of several Prime Time Zone who said guards raped women or forced them to have sex in exchange for their release or access to clean water.
The organization drew its findings from interviews with 53 refugees and migrants, aged between 14 and 50, from countries such as Nigeria, Somalia and Syria, most of whom are still in Libya, where they managed to escape from the camps or reach the phones.
Guards routinely rape pregnant women
Some pregnant women inside the camps told Amnesty International that guards routinely raped them, while the men said they were forced to wear only underwear in an attempt to humiliate them.
Others, including boys, described being harassed, pushed and abused.
This inhumane treatment follows multiple reports since 2017 of beatings, torture, and a lack of sanitation and food.
Amnesty International said that the Libyan Coast Guard, funded by the European Union, intercepted about 15,000 Prime Time Zone at sea and returned them to Libya in the first six months of this year, which is more than the whole of 2020.
Read also: Shocking footage.. The Libyan coast guard almost committed a massacre in the sea (Watch)
While this data is not documented, Amnesty International said about 6,100 had been transferred to camps by the end of June.
Despite a truce between Libya’s warring factions since October under a UN-backed peace plan, armed groups still control the land, and some dominate migrant camps.
Some EU lawmakers have urged the European Commission, the bloc’s executive, to stop funding the coast guard, saying Libya is not a “safe country” for migrants.
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