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Commitment from EU Governments Could Ease Crisis on Deadly Migration Routes

As the pandemic consumes Europe’s attention, a struggle for survival is taking place in the central Mediterranean. Since the start of 2021, at least 185 people have died in the stretch of waters between north Africa and Italy. Italian and European…
Migrants on a boat that they tried to take to Italy, after being detained at a Libyan Navy base in Tripoli on September 20, 2015.
News

New Naval Mission Designed to Avoid Sea Rescues

It is a craven, indefensible choice. Yesterday, European Union foreign ministers agreed to launch a mission in the Mediterranean Sea to enforce the United Nations-mandated Libyan arms embargo on the condition that it not focus on saving…
Migrants are transfered by Italian sailors from the German combat supply ship 'Frankfurt am Main' to the their ship 'Grecale' after being rescued during EUNAVFOR MED Operation Sophia in the Mediterranean Sea off the coast of Libya, March 29, 2016.
News

As Abuse Is Known, Material Assistance Makes Rome Complicit

(Milan) – The Italian government should suspend all support to the Libyan Coast Guard until Libya commits to a clear plan to fully respect migrants’ safety and rights, Human Rights Watch said today. The plan should include closing…
Photo released by the Libyan Coast Guard showing people disembarking in Libya after being intercepted offshore, June 24, 2018.
News

Libya Could Have Used Ships to Commit Abuses Against Migrants and Asylum Seekers

France’s decision last week to withdraw its offer of six boats to the Libyan Coast Guard is good news, as Libya could have used this “gift” to subject even more migrants and refugees to serious abuses in Libya. In February,…
Migrants on a boat that they tried to take to Italy, after being detained at a Libyan Navy base in Tripoli on September 20, 2015.
News
The scars ran deep. His back was a maze of thick welts, thinner scars and parts that resembled small craters. His wrists and ankles were raw from where he’d been shackled and suspended from a ceiling for hours, and his limbs appeared…
Armed forces allied to internationally recognized government fight with armed group in Tripoli, Libya September 22, 2018. © 2018 Hani Amara/Reuters
News

Release, Evacuate Detained Refugees and Migrants

(Brussels) –  European Union foreign ministers gathering in Brussels on July 15, 2019, should issue a clear call to Libyan authorities to close their migrant detention centers, Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International, and the European…
Debris covers the ground after an airstrike on the Tajoura migrant detention center in Tajoura east of Tripoli in Libya where 53 migrants were killed, Wednesday, July 3, 2019.
News

French Assistance Could Lead to Gross Rights Violations

People shackled, beaten, burned, crushed, hung upside down, threatened, and detained in horrendous conditions: the images broadcast recently by Channel 4 News apparently showing the torture and inhumane conditions suffered by some…
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News

EU and Italy Bear Responsibility, Should Condition Cooperation

(Brussels) – European Union policies contribute to a cycle of extreme abuse against migrants in Libya, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. The EU and Italy’s support for the Libyan Coast Guard contributes significantly to the…
A detainee stands outside a toilet stall in the Ain Zara detention center, Tripoli, July 5, 2018.
News

Mounting Violations; No Route to Justice

(Geneva) – Unaccountable and violent armed groups maintain a stranglehold on Libya, while civilians pay the price in the divided country, Human Rights Watch said today in its World Report 2019. Libyan authorities should prioritize…
Armed forces allied to internationally recognized government fight with armed group in Tripoli, Libya September 22, 2018. © 2018 Hani Amara/Reuters
News
Following his meeting with German Chancellor Angela Merkel last week, French President Emmanuel Macron tweeted that he wanted “to make the Mediterranean a chance and not a fear.” But does he mean Europeans’ fears of foreigners,…
Migrants are seen onboard the charity ship Lifeline at Boiler Wharf in Senglea, in Valletta's Grand Harbour, Malta June 27, 2018.
News

Allow European Rescues, Agree on Safe Disembarkation

(Milan) – The European Union’s obstruction of nongovernmental rescues and handover of responsibility to Libyan coast guard forces is a recipe for even greater loss of life in the Mediterranean and a continuing cycle of abuse for people…
SOS MEDITERRANEE crew rescue people off an over-crowded rubber boat in the Mediterranean, June 9, 2018.
News

The London summit this week could kick-start the revival of the stalled reform process in the region – but won’t if human rights and the rule of law stay off the agenda

  Western Balkan and European Union leaders meet in London this week for a summit that could be a chance to revive stalled reforms and focus attention on critical issues. Unfortunately, there is every chance it will turn out to be full of hot…
Migrants are seen in front of a dorm destroyed during Bosnian 1992-1995 war, in Bihac, Bosnia and Herzegovina May 11, 2018.
News

Pregnant Women, Children, Asylum Seekers Among Thousand Expelled to Desert

(Beirut) – Algeria has deported thousands of men, women, and children since January 2018 to Niger and Mali in inhumane conditions, and in many cases without considering their legal status in Algeria or their individual vulnerabilities,…
•	فتاة مهاجرة أفريقية تنظر حولها بينما تقف على جسر شُيِّد تحته مخيم مستحدث على الطريق السريع في ضواحي الجزائر العاصمة، الجزائر، 28 يونيو/حزيران 2017. © 2017 رويترز/زهرة بن سمرا
News

Europe Should Help End Cycle of Detention, Violence in Libya

A young Eritrean man died on Tuesday in Sicily of tuberculosis compounded by severe malnutrition. His name was Segen.* He was 22. There is so much about Segen we may never know. Did he prefer to read books or play football?…
Segen, a 22-year-old Eritrean, stares into the camera before disembarking in Pozzallo, Sicily, from the Pro Activa Open Arms rescue ship on March 13, 2018. He died several hours later.
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Since 2014, nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) have filled a deadly gap in maritime rescue operations, patrolling in international waters close to the 12-nautical-mile line that marks Libyan territorial waters – the area where over-crowded, unseaworthy…
News

Help for Libyan Coast Guard Risks Complicity in Abuse

(Milan) – Italy’s deployment of Navy ships to assist Libyan authorities intercept migrant boats in Libyan waters could implicate Italy in human rights abuses against migrants subsequently detained in Libya, Human Rights Watch said today…
Migrants on a boat that they tried to take to Italy, after being detained at a Libyan Navy base in Tripoli on September 20, 2015.