Libyan Human Rights Organizations Reject Italy’s Plan to Turn Libya into a Mass Detention Center for Refugees

Statement of the National Commission for Human Rights in Libya on the establishment of international protection centers in transit States, to assess asylum applications and provide legal assistance to migrants and asylum seekers, as well as voluntary repatriation in the southern Mediterranean countries

The National Commission for Human Rights in Libya expresses its total rejection of the unilateral European plan to establish international protection centers in transit states to assess asylum applications and provide legal assistance to migrants and asylum seekers, as well as voluntary repatriation in the countries of the southern Mediterranean in general, The National Commission for Human Rights in Libya expresses its rejection of this plan. based on humanitarian, legal, security and national considerations, including the state of armed conflict, the proliferation of arms, the worsening of the level of organized crime, and the escalation of human rights violations in Libya. In addition to the fact that Libya is not a party to the 1951 Refugee Convention and its 1967 Protocol. therefore Libya is not bound by any obligation under that Convention.

The National Commission for Human Rights in Libya affirms that Italy’s current action to repel and return migrants to the Mediterranean Sea to Libya is a clear and explicit example of European and Italian endorsement for the crimes and violations committed against migrants and refugees heading to Europe. This operation is racist and inhumane, and constitutes a clear contradiction and violation with the precedence of the ruling in the case known as: The case of ECtHR – Hirsi Jamaa and Others versus Italy & Malta issued in 2012 against Italy and Malta.

The National Commission for Human Rights in Libya is closely following the statements of some EU officials and their efforts to keep migrants on Libyan territory through detention centers and immigration camps, or by establishing international protection centers in transit countries to assess asylum applications, and to provide legal assistance to migrants and asylum seekers, In a European attempt to evade their human and legal responsibilities towards African migrants and refugees, and to transform Libya into an alternative homeland for migrants, serving the interests and policies of Italy in particular, the European interests in general, on the account of the supreme national interest of Libya.

In this context, the National Commission for Human Rights in Libya recalls and affirms the Presidential Council of the Government of National Accord that all the transitional bodies do not have the authority to conclude new agreements that are not necessary for the transitional period, i.e.: that their implementation extends beyond this stage, although it would have required the signature of a memorandum of agreement Between the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and the Libyan State (in regards to some special cases, such as the status of asylum-seekers as “diplomats” or, and for some existing refugee camps, if any).

Note :

You may find that the balance between the dominant European power against the fragile state of Libya, and the necessity and poor conditions of Libyans to support the feasibility of ​​establishing platforms to receive immigrants and refugees in southern Libya, while in contrast, there is total lack of popular support, and a broad rejection of this initiative from all components of Libyan society.

The National Commission for Human Rights in Libya confirmed that it would not allow any project to resettle migrants and African refugees by keeping them on Libyan territory through detention centers and accommodation camps, turning Libya into an alternative homeland for migrants to Europe, transforming Libya into a large detention center for migrants and refugees, to advance the Italian interests in particular, and the European ones in general at the detriment of the national interest of Libya.

The National Commission for Human Rights in Libya reaffirms that the handling of the migration case must be carried out in accordance with the international rules and regulations, in a way that ensures respect for international humanitarian law and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, as well as ensuring respect for the sovereignty and independence of States under the umbrella of the United Nations and in cooperation and coordination between the African union, the European union, and Libya’s neighboring states, through a comprehensive economic development, and security strategy in the countries of origin and transit of migrants.

The National Commission for Human Rights in Libya also expresses its deep concern about the fate of African migrants and refugees returning to Libya from Europe who are still in Libya, and the serious crimes and violations committed against them in the western centers of detention controlled by armed groups, such as physical and psychological torture, ill-treatment, and bullying, as well as exploitation and trafficking in private businesses by gangs and networks of human traffickers, as a result of the collapse of security and the state of chaos and the absence of the rule of law.

The National Commission for Human Rights in Libya.
Issued in Tripoli – Libya.
Monday, 25 June 2018

Translated on June 26 2018, by Walid Elhouderi (Director of foreign affairs and cooperation department of the National Commission for Human Rights in Libya

اللجنة الوطنية لحقوق الانسان بليبيا