(Author: Libyan Gazette Editorial Staff)
The European Union (EU) is aiming to put an end to the flow of migrants seeking asylum fleeing Libya to Europe. Human Rights Watch (HRW) has warned that such aims put the migrants at great risk of being brutally abused and violently taken advantage of by Libyan criminals, government officials, and militias.
Amnesty International published a document on Friday that documented horrific abuses done to the migrants by their smugglers and Libyan criminal gangs. Some migrants were detained by the Libyan Coast Guard at sea and subjected to all sort of abuses and torture.
The EU had announced on June 20 that it will be extending its mission on the Mediterranean by helping to train the Libyan Coast Guard and the Libyan Navy, who are stopping boats carrying migrants to Europe and sending them back to Libya.
EU has also requested the assistance of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) in the expansion of the EU’s Mediterranean mission.
Members of NATO will be meeting in Warsaw, Poland to discuss the proposed collaboration with the EU at the NATO summit on July 8 and 9.
Judith Sunderland, Human Rights Watch’s associate director of Europe and Central Asia, said “the EU isn’t sending people back to Libya, knowing that’s unlawful, so it wants to outsource the dirty work to Libyan forces.”
Sunderland further explained that “the EU – soon perhaps with NATO’s help – is basically deputizing Libyan forces to help seal Europe’s border.”