Over 650 migrants caught off Libya coast sent back to country
Various non-governmental organizations say migrants forcibly returned to Libya by push-back method
More than 650 migrants caught off the coast of Libya were sent on Sunday to the country’s capital Tripoli, according to the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR).
“Survivors departed aboard 4 rubber boats from Zwara, and were intercepted/rescued and returned in 2 different disembarkations,” the agency said on Twitter.
Tarik Argaz, the agency’s spokesman in Libya, said on Twitter that the migrants were sent to detention centers, “where dire conditions and abuse are common currency,” after receiving medical assistance.
Meanwhile, non-governmental organizations engaged in voluntary search and rescue activities for irregular migrants in the Mediterranean Sea warned that migrants are forcibly returned to Libya by push-back method.
“650+ people were pushed back to Tripoli by militias armed by the #EU… Stop illegal pushbacks, detention, and tortures in Libya,” the US-based Mediterranea Saving Humans said on Twitter.
Libya has become one of the important points in the crossing of African irregular migrants, who have escaped poverty and conflict in recent years, to Europe.
*Writing by Sena Guler in Ankara