By Ebi Kesiena
Migrants in the Libyan capital, Tripoli, have demanded immediate deportation to a safe location due to living conditions in detention centres and ill-treatment by Libyan authorities.
Dozens of migrants protested on Saturday outside the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) headquarters in Tripoli where protesters held banners.
Sudanese migrant, Omar Idris claimed that they have been beaten, detained and imprisoned by the authorities.
“Of course, we came here to immigrate; we registered with the commission (UNHCR). We lived in Gargaresh (town 12 kilometres west of Tripoli). We were beaten and taken to jail, and as you can see, now we are all here; some of us came out from jail yesterday. We have women and children here, and also sick and injured, we are all suffering, and the reason we are here is that we demand immediate deportation to a safe place,” he said.
The organization said approximately 10,000 men, women, and children are detained in poor conditions in official detention facilities in Tripoli.
UNHCR officials said tensions with migrants, demanding urgent aid and their deportation from Libya, resulted in the injury of two staff members and impeded the access of other asylum seekers to the centre.
According to Musa Khamis, a migrants from Darfur, Sudan, migrants are not treated equally.
“I’ve been in Libya for two years, here in Tripoli, and now we’ve been here for ten days without water, food or anything. Why don’t they want to let us (into UNHCR office)? Only Syrians, Ethiopians and Eritreans enter, and they haven’t let us in or give us any aid or anything; we have nothing,” he testified.
Earlier Saturday, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) condemned the killing of six people in one of the capital’s migrant detention centres.
The development comes a week after authorities rounded up more than 5,000 migrants in a massive crackdown and after UN-commissioned investigators said abuses and ill treatment of migrants in Libya amount to crimes against humanity.