Torture, rape and slavery in Libya: why migrants must be able to leave this hell (vom 12.08.2017),
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[12. Aug 2017]

Torture, rape and slavery in Libya: why migrants must be able to leave this hell

Rape, torture and slave labour are among the horrendous daily realities for people stuck in Libya who are desperately trying to escape war, persecution and poverty in African countries, according to a new report by Oxfam and Italian partners MEDU and Borderline Sicilia.

:: The report features harrowing testimonies, gathered by Oxfam and its partners, from women and men who arrived in Sicily having made the dangerous crossing from Libya. Some revealed how gangs imprisoned them in underground cells, before calling their families to demand a ransom for their release. A teenager from Senegal told how he was kept in a cell which was full of dead bodies, before managing to escape. Others spoke of being regularly beaten and starved for months on end.

Oxfam and its partners are calling on Italy and other European member states to stop pursuing migration policies that prevent people leaving Libya and the abuse they are suffering.

158 testimonies, of 31 women and 127 men, gathered by Oxfam and MEDU in Sicily, paint a shocking picture of the conditions they endured in Libya:

Roberto Barbieri, executive director of Oxfam Italy, said:

"These testimonies paint a horrifying picture of the lives of refugees and other migrants in Libya. They are a damning indictment of Europe's efforts to keep people from escaping violence, slavery and even death."

"These are people who are escaping war, persecution and poverty - and yet in Libya they encounter another hell."

"People must come first: the EU should provide safe routes for people to come to Europe and have access to a fair and transparent processes for claiming asylum."

Due to a lack of safe and regular routes into Europe for refugees and other migrants, the central Mediterranean route from Libya to Italy has become the major port of entry for those trying to reach Europe. More than 180,000 people arrived in Italy via this route in 2016. Over 95,000 people have already arrived so far this year.

European member states have been pursuing policies preventing people from leaving Libya so they don't make it to Europe's shores. These actions expose refugees and other migrants to suffering and death, and this must end.

:: Download full report as PDF

Notes to editors

Source ::, 09. Aug 2017.