Posted by News Express | 24 February 2018 | 1,190 times
As part of the CNN Freedom Project, migrants who had been rescued from Libya discussed the torture they’d endured and why they believe the Libyan Coast Guard are complicit in the continued abuse of migrants.
In 2017, more than 40 percent of migrants stranded in the Mediterranean were rescued by human rights groups, but as an anti-immigration sentiment grows, the EU began training the Libyan Coast Guards to intercept migrant boats and return them to Libya.
CNN heard how NGOs have attacked this strategy, with the UN Security Council stating the Libyan Coast Guards are: “directly involved in such grave human rights violations against migrants.”
In a telephone interview with CNN, the Commander of the Libyan Coast Guard, Abu Ajala Amer Abdel-Bari, stated: “We save people from the water and we turn them into official places under the Libyan Interior Ministry, who all work with recognised organisations like the IOM.”
One migrant told CNN about the conduct of the Libyan Coastguards:
“When they catch you they beat you, they beat us, we black, like animals. They don’t feed people… All they’re focusing on is their money”.
On how coastguards attempted to extort money from migrants and held them for ransom: “They’re kidnapping people, they’re selling people like fish, they’re marketing people like clothes.”
CNN filming showed NGOs, attempting to rescue migrants, being told by the Libyan Coastguard: “Don’t come back, this is now a Libya search and rescue zone. Don’t come back.” (CNN)
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