, 386 tweets, 196 min read Read on Twitter
It seems an independent auditor came to Abu Salim today looking into UN activities. The guards told detainees in advance not to mention that they haven't been fed for months (some of their families are sending them money to buy food with instead, which guards take a cut from).
Messages today from Qasr bin Ghashir dc, southern Tripoli, today, where they’re asking for evacuation & any organisation that can help them.
Sorry for my confusion, the teenager above was being held in Qasr bin Ghashir, but has now been moved to the UNHCR facility in Tripoli for evacuation. He's asking for help for those he left behind.
From @saracreta: "This is happening in Al-Hamra Detention Center in Gheryan, about 80 Km south-west of the capital, Tripoli." #libya #refugees
Some refugees have been paying $600-$800 to be smuggled from Libyan detention centres to Tunisia over the past few months. Those who've been there for a while say they're now being told to leave accommodation to make space for new arrivals, & they're frightened.
Good piece in Austria’s @derStandardat on the conditions in Libyan detention centres, which mentions this Twitter thread: derstandard.at/2000097876505/…
One of the refugees I’ve been in touch with for months says he’s finally going to be evacuated from Libya today through UNHCR. He says it’ll be his first time on a plane. They’ll go to Niger, & then probably on to somewhere else.
Plane taking off!! They’re so, so happy. Cutting out faces to protect identities but I’m getting some really lovely photos right now. I believe around 159 are currently being evacuated. 2/
This group has now landed in Niger, where they’ll stay in a UNHCR centre until another country agrees to resettle them. /3
More on the most recent group evacuated from Libya: '159 Eritrean asylum-seekers get access to safety after months in detention in Libya' africa-newsroom.com/press/159-erit…
Some of those who were chosen are messaging me about their guilt leaving children and women behind them.
Yesterday morning I was contacted by the uncle of a Darfuri minor who’d gone to Libya in 2017 & lost contact. The uncle heard from recently evacuated refugees his nephew might be in a particular Tripoli detention centre... 1/
Today a contact in the centre managed to find him. The uncle hadn’t even been sure he’s still alive.
“Today I am the happiest man on earth. He became big and he has a chin,” he said.
So nice to have some happy news from Libya.
Thinking a lot about these messages from a few days ago.
I’ve been in touch with refugees in Libyan detention centres six months now & have travelled thousands of miles, while they’ve stayed locked in the same buildings or even rooms.
Very hard to compute.
More Eritreans sent to Eritrea from Libya. Fellow detainees say these can't be considered voluntary returns because they have no other option. Those already back lost contact, & friends think some are in prison.
"Maybe they die," one said.
Refugees in Tunisia, who recently escaped Libya, asking me to post this video of what they say is a protest against UNHCR, because a group of 26 are being forced out of their accommodation, despite still being traumatised.
(Follow @HAMIEHAMIE1 for more updates from refugees in Tunisia)
France to supply six boats to the Libyan coastguard. fr.reuters.com/article/topNew…
The African Union is seeking to kill off the EU’s latest blueprint for stemming migration, claiming it would breach international law by establishing “de facto detention centres” on African soil (similar to what's already happening in Libya). theguardian.com/world/2019/feb…
"When the EU wants something, it usually gets it,” said a senior AU official. “African capitals worry this plan will see the establishment of something like modern-day slave markets, with ‘the best’ Africans allowed into Europe & the rest tossed back."
Report on Libyan detention centres up on @Channel4News now.
Our full report, which led Channel 4 News last night, is up here now. Thanks to @DariusBazargan & everyone else who worked on it. Please watch:
Big protest today in Tripoli's Triq al Sikka detention centre, where male detainees are usually locked inside in the dark, & some have stayed more than a year. I'm told they broke down the door to escape but were met & surrounded by guards. Not sure what's happened since. #libya
Italy giving four more boats to Libyan coastguard. infomigrants.net/en/post/15395/…
I’m hearing from refugee sources that detainees in Triq al Sikka dc were badly beaten yesterday with metal & sticks & many are injured. Around 87 have now been moved to Ain Zara detention centre.
I get messages like this every day from refugees in Tripoli detention centres. This Somali just got in touch in the last two weeks & says he's been locked up for months, since trying to get to Europe the middle of last year. #libya 1/
Asking him what he wants to do when/if he manages to get out of Libya. 2/
I was interviewed this week by Austria's @radiofm4 about the conditions in Libyan detention centres. Programme up here now: fm4.orf.at/player/2019022…
Badly beaten detainees moved to Sebha & Ain Zara dcs, but some still in Triq al Sikka. Everyone needs to be accounted for.
Last summer, after similar protests, refugees were reportedly taken to underground prisons where at least one was tortured to death.
Linking in to the thread the news that one of the refugee detainees in Libya was shortlisted for an Amnesty International Media Award for this article:
He still doesn't know. I can't get in touch with him after another crackdown on communication.
Leaked documents show EU officials acknowledge internally that some members of the Libyan coast guard (that the EU funds, equips & trains) are collaborating with smuggling networks. politico.eu/article/europe… via @notzachcampbell
More info following Tuesday's protest at Triq al Sikka. Refugees say 100 guards set on them after the Dutch embassy left. Men (incl minors) were badly beaten as the women (who were separate) screamed. As many as 30 have been taken underground & tortured 1/
Triq al Sikka is also the headquarters of Libya's Department of Combatting Illegal Migration, which manages the detention centres. The UN now appears to have no access & no way of tracking what's happened to many of those who protested. They all remain in grave danger. 2/
Separately, I'm also being told by the family of a detainee I interviewed before that he was among 53 Somalis sold back to traffickers by Libyan guards from Khoms Souq al Khamise detention centre a few weeks ago, following another protest there.
Reports of yet another death at the detention centre in Zintan. This would be at least the ninth I’ve heard of there since mid-September.
Remember, most detainees are young. It seems like they shouldn’t be dying with this frequency.
Multiple times I’ve contacted the International Medical Corps, who are supposed to be supplying medical care to detainees in Zintan, but they refuse to talk to me about what’s going on there.
Refugees in Libya tortured for breaking out of detention centre. Latest: aljazeera.com/news/2019/03/r…
Photos from the protest in Triq al Sikka dc on Tuesday. Some participants, including minors, have since reportedly been taken underground in the same centre & tortured. aljazeera.com/news/2019/03/r…
Full statement from the EU following reports detainees, including minors, have been taken underground & tortured by Libyan guards after participating in a protest in Tripoli's Triq al Sikka detention centre. aljazeera.com/news/2019/03/r…
Conditions in Libyan detention centres & Irish involvement in returning refugees back there brought up in Irish Seanad by @paul_gavan kildarestreet.com/sendebates/?id…
New report by British MPs: "The UK Government’s desire to address
migration to Europe, particularly through the Khartoum Process & engagement in Libya, is clearly undermining its commitment to human rights and protecting the most vulnerable refugees." publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201719/cm…
European Commission releasing a lot of self-congratulatory statements today about how they've decreased arrivals to Europe. Do continue to question how we got to this point, & what's happening to those turned away. 1/
"Ahead of the March European Council, the Commission is today taking stock of progress made over the past 4 years..." 2/
Heard from the family of a detainee that the 53 people sold by guards from Khoms Souq al Khamise detention centre in February ended up in Sirte.
I'm continuing to update on the ongoing situation in Triq al Sikka detention centre in this thread:
UK parliamentary question based on our @Channel4News @mattfrei report: parliament.uk/business/publi…
I've been trying to gather information about deaths in detention centres for months (see theguardian.com/commentisfree/… & thenational.ae/world/mena/he-…).
Great to see this being asked for.
Fears of "showdown" in Tripoli, according to Reuters. We still don't know how many refugees & migrants (returned to Libya under EU policy) died the last time there was serious fighting in the capital, & I know many are terrified of war breaking out again. reuters.com/article/us-lib…
Sinn Fein press release: "The Irish government must immediately call for an end to funding for the totally discredited Libyan coastguard."
"The EU is choosing to fund death camps in Libya rather than deal with issue of migrants seeking sanctuary in Europe"
"In the first two months of this year, only 262 seaborne migrants reached Italy, compared with more than 13,000 during the same period in 2017." wsj.com/articles/migra…
Message from a detainee currently in Tripoli's Qasr bin Ghashir detention centre, who says he's waited more than eight months now & is desperate for evacuation. #libya
Messages from a detained refugee in Libya talking about the things he misses: fresh air, reading, classrooms, his family. He says his favourite books include 'Mistakes were Made' by Carol Tavris & @cduhigg's 'The Power of Habit'.
2/ When I asked whether there's any way to learn anything in the detention centres, he said this:
Protest yesterday at LSE, London, against former Italian Interior Minister, Marco Minniti, who was giving a talk about migration & the Mediterranean. Students & activists said he has "blood on his hands" for the policies he introduced, esp regarding Libya
'France gifts boats to abusive Libyan coastguard' - Bénédicte Jeannerod,France Director of Human Rights Watch
Italian Interior Minister Matteo Salvini said Wednesday all possible efforts would be made to ensure human rights are respected in gov centers for migrants in Libya, during an interrogation at the lower house of parliament. ansamed.info/ansamed/en/new…
.@AlistairBurtUK confirms the UK doesn't track deaths in Libyan detention centres, despite funding the Libyan coastguard to return refugees/migrants to them. parliament.uk/business/publi…
New @hrw video references our @Channel4News report, while calling on France not to supply boats to the Libyan coastguard.
A refugee who recently escaped Libya for Tunisia sent me this, describing what he's been through. (Obviously shared with permission.)
He talks about the experience of being tortured by smugglers; intercepted in the Mediterranean while trying to reach Europe; brought back to indefinite detention & a close friend dying while they were locked up. #libya
A detainee in Tajoura dc told me two Sudanese people were beaten up after the visit of the Dutch migration minister this week, though I haven't been able to confirm that with other sources.
Libyan authorities respond to HRW call for France not to give them boats bc of the ongoing abuse of refugees & migrants, saying HRW is "not impartial" & "seeking to tarnish Libya's image," according to this report: addresslibya.com/en/archives/43…
Hearing reports from detainees of four deaths of refugees/migrants in Gharyan detention centre. They say detainees were forcibly moved there from Zintan, incl 28 people yesterday. Libyan guards apparently lied to some, saying they were going to Tripoli for medical treatment.
Very sad news from Sabratha, Libya. As with all these tragedies, it's unlikely we'll ever know exactly who was on the boat & how many people drowned, but thinking of their families & friends.
A pregnant woman, along with a child, has been reported dead in a shipwreck on Tuesday morning off Libya's coast, a member of the Red Crescent in Sabratha told local media. ansamed.info/ansamed/en/new…
A Libyan official said at least 10 people had died. euronews.com/2019/03/19/at-…
.@saracreta with more from Tunisia, where refugees say a lack of adequate care & frustration over the absence of resettlement plans have prompted attempted suicides: aljazeera.com/indepth/featur…
MSF open letter to French President Macron over "hypocritical migration policies": "Not content to repeat that it cannot accommodate all the misery of the world, Europe creates misery." msf.org/msf-calls-out-…
Latest @IrishTimes on food deprivation & acute malnutrition in Libyan detention centres, where refugees & migrants are locked up after they're forced back to Libya under EU policy. irishtimes.com/news/world/afr…
I'll also be on @PatKennyNT around 10.15am this morning, talking about this
"I can honestly tell the members of this council that in thirty years in this line of work these were the most harrowing accounts I have ever heard.” - @GilmourUN
My @PatKennyNT interview from yesterday is up here: newstalk.com/podcasts/highl… #libya
For the @Telegraph: I spoke to refugees & migrants, detained in Libya after trying to reach Europe, who have now been infected with TB because of the squalid conditions. One man I interviewed got it from helping others. telegraph.co.uk/news/2019/03/2… 1/
"Those are the kind of people that really desperately need our support, people who are willing to put their lives on the line because they want to help their fellow human beings…" said Aaron Oxley, the executive director of @resultsuk. telegraph.co.uk/news/2019/03/2… 2/ #libya #tb
New @wrcommission report finds sexual violence against refugee/migrant men & boys in Libya “happened to everyone,” “is normal in Libya,” “happened to all people,” “happened to many, many of my friends,” and that “they are doing this every day.” womensrefugeecommission.org/component/zdoc…
2/ "During this research, refugees, migrants, and key informants reported that official & unofficial (Libyan) detention centres are key sites of sexual violence, including sexual torture." womensrefugeecommission.org/component/zdoc… via @wrcommission
"The European Union on Tuesday was considering extending air patrols to search for migrants crossing the Mediterranean but withdrawing ships that could save them, a change in policy that reflects Europe’s growing aversion to irregular arrivals." af.reuters.com/article/topNew…
"The European Union will cease the maritime patrols that have rescued thousands of migrants making the perilous Mediterranean Sea crossing from North Africa to Europe, but it will extend air missions, two diplomats said on Tuesday." news.trust.org/item/201903261… via @Reuters
Migrants/refugees have reportedly hijacked a merchant ship that rescued them, after it became clear they were going to be returned to Libya. They’re heading towards Malta instead. reuters.com/article/us-eur…
MSF comment on the EU ending ship patrols as part of Operation Sophia. #libya
Here’s @amnesty’s statement: “EU govs will continue to use aerial surveillance to alert the Libyan Coast Guard when refugees and migrants are spotted at sea, so they can be taken back to Libya...” #OperationSophia
I’m getting messages saying 100s of detainees in Zintan have been left without toilets & drinking water, after a guard turned up this morning & broke toilets/smashed pipes. He first tried to beat & abuse detainees, they say. 1/
A lot of people in Zintan dc were already sick, which detainees blamed on a lack of medical care & poor sanitation. Most of the deaths I’ve heard about have happened there. I have video showing what’s apparently left of the toilets, but won’t share for now
"Malta armed forces say a special operations team has seized a tanker that was hijacked by migrants and it is now heading to a Maltese port with the migrants and crew." apnews.com/060deaff963147…
"The captain of a vessel escorted to Malta earlier this week with 100 migrants on board risks facing charges related to human smuggling, sources close to the police have said." timesofmalta.com/articles/view/…
& more on the condition of the people on #ElHiblu1 when they were disembarked. (I also wrote about this case on Wednesday, including comments from other refugees/migrants still in Libya: irishtimes.com/news/world/eur…)
EU announcement: the EU confirms today it will reinforce support to the Libyan Coastguard and Navy, while suspending its own boats, meaning the EU is no longer directly rescuing migrants/refugees at all - just supporting forced returns to Libya. consilium.europa.eu/en/press/press…
Meanwhile, I'm hearing from sources in Tripoli detention centres that Libyan authorities seem to be gathering weapons & preparing to fight again.
Background on an expected new outbreak of conflict: middleeasteye.net/news/hoping-pe…
Refugee sources tell me detainees were beaten after this visit, as they seem to be after almost every trip by international visitors to Tajoura.
People locked up there are terrified & know the consequences if they speak about constant mistreatment.
As word spread that Operation Sophia was being scaled back, there was huge disappointment in Irish military circles.
“The truth is, without Operation Sophia-type missions, the Navy is nothing–well to me anyway,” one wrote.
irishtimes.com/news/ireland/i… @PeterMurtagh
Terrible news for refugees/migrants trapped in detention centres (& everyone in Libya). We still don't know how many died the last time serious conflict broke out in Tripoli, though 1,000s were abandoned without food/water or forced onto unsafe streets.
Refugees in Abu Salim detention centre are terrified again. They’ve been abandoned before without food & water during conflict. They need help. #libya #tripoli
Messages from another Tripoli migrant detention centre tonight, where hundreds more men, women & children - returned to Libya under EU policy - will likely now be trapped by fighting.
Here's a clip of a voice memo I was sent last night, showing the noise of weapons from a migrant detention centre in Tripoli. This was sent by one of the thousands of refugees/migrants who have been returned to a warzone under EU policy. soundcloud.com/user-60656923/…
via @emmevilla
"BREAKING #Libya: unconfirmed reports say #Tripoli airport has fallen to #LNA forces.
If so, currently the JRCC for search and rescue at sea is not active anymore, leaving the Libyan SAR zone completely unattended."
Messages from a refugee in Abu Salim detention centre earlier today. They're very worried about running out of food & water as fighting escalates.
"We have many kids and pregnant (women) and we have newborn babies, that's why we're afraid." #libya #tripoli
"Dozens of migrants and refugees in a Tripoli detention centre were dressed in old military uniforms and ordered to begin packing weapons this week, as rival forces began to march on the Libyan capital" - me in @IrishTimes irishtimes.com/news/world/afr… #libya #tripoli
At least 37 dead or wounded in and around Tripoli due to escalating clashes. Meanwhile, refugees & migrants locked in detention centres are still powerless & wondering what will happen to them. Here are some of the messages I've received in the last few hours. #libya
“We loaded weapons and later we will load again. Some soldiers left with the weapons and some are here with us. If we tell them to take us back to our room they will not accept it,” one migrant detainee messaged me on Friday. #tripoli #libya
My latest @AJEnglish, on what’s happening in Tripoli’s migrant detention centres as conflict continues. Refugees calling for protection & evacuation. aljazeera.com/news/2019/04/l… #libya
"We can hear the sounds of the guns now. We have many children and women here. We need evacuation. We don't want to die here," one detained refugee messaged me yesterday. "This place is not safe."
Detainees in Qasr bin Ghashir dc say they have been left without water (no electricity means water pump doesn't work). Two Eritreans who went outside to try & find some were reportedly beaten up by Haftar's soldiers. I'm being told they are badly injured & may have broken bones.
Here's a recording a refugee in Qasr bin Ghashir detention centre just sent me calling for help. Roughly 600 men, women (including pregnant women) & children are without food & water, trapped in the middle of a conflict zone. soundcloud.com/user-60656923/…
There's a suggestion Haftar's forces will move the refugees/migrants detained in Qasr bin Ghashir to either Gharyan or Zintan - but there have been significant numbers of deaths in both those centres due to negligence & a lack of sanitation/healthcare/food. They want evacuation.
I'm currently in touch with detainees in seven different centres around Tripoli & in every one they're terrified.
Their fears:
1. They'll be hurt or killed.
2. Abandoned without food/water.
3. Women raped.
4. Forced to fight.
5. Abducted/sold to traffickers.
The latest recording I've been sent from Qasr bin Ghashir dc, in which you can hear both gunfire & crying children. 600 people (mostly intercepted & forcibly returned to Libya under EU policy) who are now in the middle of a war & calling for evacuation. soundcloud.com/user-60656923/…
(Meanwhile, the EU announces it is building a "safer Europe" by building up borders to keep migrants & refugees out.)
IOM @UNmigration has suspended all activities in Tripoli because of the escalation in fighting, according to the Libya Observer. libyaobserver.ly/inbrief/iom-su…
A drawing by a refugee currently in a Tripoli detention centre, who says it shows how delays in evacuations from Libya, & a lack of places, mean vulnerable people are being left to suffer starvation, abuse, violence, torture, a lack of medical care & death. 1/
"…Furthermore the dead body (doesn't) get proper burial service. Even though tortured immigrants are appealing but there was no urgent evacuation service given from UNHCR, so their symbol didn't reveal the service they give. Set us on fire…" 2/
This man hasn't eaten anything since Friday. "Still no one come to respite from our pain." #libya #tripoli
Here's an update from Qasr bin Ghashir detention centre (a different dc), where around 600 men, women & children are being held on the frontlines. They say they haven't eaten since Thursday night.
"Who can we report? Only we can report to the God." soundcloud.com/user-60656923/…
"There are big weapons. Even the jet is coming, dropping a lot of things in our detention centre… Everything is very bad… Only pray for us." #libya #Tripoli
UNHCR relocating refugees from Ain Zara, southern Tripoli, to their centre in the north (though I wouldn't necessarily say they're "safe" yet - they're still in Tripoli.)
I’m getting messages from Ain Zara dc saying 120 people - Eritreans & Somalis - remain there. “The war is over us. The UNHCR agents are running from us, even the police. If there is anything you can do please help us.”
Messages from Ain Zara dc asking whether anyone will come back for the 120 refugees left behind, as UNHCR releases this statement about moving refugees "to safety". unhcr.org/news/press/201…
"The Ain Zara detention centre had been impacted by heavy clashes for the past few days."
Here are screenshots from videos I'm being sent showing some of the 100+ women & children still trapped in Qasr bin Ghashir detention centre, in an area where fighting continues. #tripoli #libya
.@RefugeesChief talking to UN Security Council today about Libya: "Lots of resources put into strengthening the coastguard, to stem the flows towards Europe. Not much else by way of investment in bringing peace & stability… This was not effective."
"The Libyan coastguard is not an effective rescuer of people in the sea, & then detention of refugees & migrants is still the prevailing mode in the country & in conditions that are horrific & unacceptable." - @RefugeesChief
Includes my @AJEnglish on the situation for detained refugees/migrants in Libya: aljazeera.com/news/2019/04/l…
The 120 refugees left in Ain Zara detention centre, Tripoli, say they’re now being forced to leave. The group apparently includes children & pregnant women. They have no idea where they can go for safety. There’s fighting in the streets. “We just running from war,” one says.
Messages from two different detainees in Qasr bin Ghashir dc just now, saying an air strike has hit right beside them. "We are really in big trouble."
Again, 600 men, women & children being held there - most returned to Libya under EU policy aimed at keeping migrants out.
Yet another cry for help from desperate refugees in Qasr bin Ghashir. #libya
Ain Zara detainees now saying they’re back in the centre.
This is the third time since August that hundreds of refugee detainees in Qasr bin Ghashir have been on the front lines of conflict. Every time they have begged for help, protection & urgent evacuation. #libya #tripoli
Statement from Sam Turner, MSF Head of Mission for Libya and Mediterranean Search and Rescue Operations:
Voice message from a detained refugee woman in Qasr bin Ghashir - still on the front lines of fighting. soundcloud.com/user-60656923/…
Another call for help from refugee women in Qasr bin Ghashir detention centre. "Tell to them, everybody, the world. The war from everything, the morning until the… 24 hours… please, please (please, please)" soundcloud.com/user-60656923/…
Sudanese refugees detained in Tripoli, Libya, celebrating Bashir’s ousting in Sudan. Some saying they can go home now.
Busses sent to Qasr bin Ghashir to move refugees & migrants to Zintan or Gharyan detention centres, & away from fighting, but they’re refusing to get on, saying too many have died in those centres & they want evacuation.
Another message from Qasr bin Ghashir detention centre.
"All Libya (is a) war zone. Take us from Libya. Please, WHERE IS HUMANITY AND WHERE IS HUMAN RIGHTS."
More from Qasr bin Ghashir dc. I'm speaking to a few people there and they seem adamant they won't go to another detention centre, esp away from Tripoli.
I told them it seems immediate evacuation is unlikely- they said they still won't. "It is better to die here anyway," one said
One suicide in Abu Salim detention centre, Tripoli, this evening. A 17 year old Eritrean boy. People there are very, very sad.
A recording of refugees and migrants in Abu Salim mourning the death of a minor, who killed himself in the detention centre yesterday. soundcloud.com/user-60656923/…
A message sent this morning from Qasr bin Ghashir detention centre, where detainees say 600 refugees/migrants (incl women & children) haven't eaten since April 5.
Yesterday, there were attempts to move them to Zintan or Gharyan, but they refused, & the busses eventually left.
The latest death toll from the fighting in Tripoli, according to WHO, is 75 killed and 323 wounded. #libya
Air strike hit close to Tajoura detention centre three hours ago. Sources telling me wounded & dead fighters were brought inside afterwards. #libya #tripoli
'UNHCR issues urgent appeal for release and evacuation of detained refugees caught in Libyan crossfire'. More than 1,500 refugees and migrants are believed to be trapped in detention centres where hostilities are raging. unhcr.org/news/press/201…
“They have fled conflict or persecution in their own countries only to be trapped as conflict engulfs them again,” said @RefugeesChief. “The risks to their lives are growing by the hour… This is a matter of life or death.”
On Thursday, I heard the manager of Tajoura detention centre told detainees they won't be fed for seven days. Later, a local Libyan apparently donated them food, but it apparently didn't reach everyone. They're worried. "We are going to die due to scarcity of food," says a source
Latest horrifying update from Qasr Bin Ghashir detention centre, where 700+ refugees & migrants are on the front lines of fighting. #libya #tripoli
UNHCR were involved in the attempt to move the 700+ refugees/migrants in Qasr bin Ghashir to Zintan on Thursday (though not visible on the ground I believe): Here's an explanation from an Eritrean there of why they wouldn't go:
As I've previously reported, there have been a significant number of deaths there since hundreds of refugees/migrants were moved during the Aug/Sept fighting. These included a young boy who died of appendicitis bc of a lack of medical treatment. twitter.com/search?f=tweet…
Those moved to Zintan during fighting, who then died seemingly from a lack of medical care & poor conditions also included Haftom, a 32-year-old dentist, who I wrote about here: theguardian.com/commentisfree/…
Photos reportedly taken just now in Qasr bin Ghashir show where a fallen plane has hit very close to the detention centre. #libya #tripoli
"One jet hit by Khalifa (Haftar's) force now in front of our detention centre" - messaged an Eritrean there.
Food & water has been delivered to Qasr bin Ghashir dc the last two days by Libyan organisation @Migrace_Organiz. Many there said yesterday was the first time they ate since April 5 & they’re very grateful.
IOM was also involved in providing food the past two days.
More info below & a picture from @Migrace_Organiz showing where Qasr bin Ghashir detention centre is located, right in the middle of warring forces. #libya #tripoli
Message from Abu Salim dc, south Tripoli, saying bombs or rockets are hitting 20m from the detention centre. The guards drove away & left them after it started. More than 800 refugees/migrants reportedly still there. #libya
Latest @guardian: detainees in three Tripoli detention centres told me they've been forced to lift & move weapons since the conflict started, & in fourth said others had been taken away by fighters.
HRW says some of the actions could constitute war crimes. theguardian.com/global-develop…
“We even washed the cars that were full with the blood of the soldiers who were killed on the war front,” one refugee told me. “They put the dead bodies in the military cars. I’m not feeling good but I don’t have a choice here.”
My article from April 7 on the situation in Qasr bin Ghashir in Italian, in @Internazionale:
Amnesty International: 'Release migrants and refugees trapped in detention centres amid escalating clashes' amnesty.org/en/latest/news…
Update from Qasr bin Ghashir detention centre: They received food & water from @Migrace_Organiz @IOM_Libya for a third day, say the situation is calmer & they now just need TB medication.
Messages from Abu Salim detention centre, where rockets hit close to again late last night. “We can’t sleep for two days. Especially the children are crying all night.”
Response from the EU when questioned about the accounts I'm receiving of refugees & migrants being forced to carry & move weapons in three Tripoli detention centres, & other actions @hrw said could constitute a "war crime".
My report from yest: theguardian.com/global-develop… #libya
(Excellent reports with broader context on what's happening in Tripoli, from @reportingLibya: thenewhumanitarian.org/news/2019/04/1… & @AlexCrawfordSky: )
Some confusion in Abu Salim today. 150 people were eventually transferred to the UNHCR centre in a more secure location, after detainees were told 400 would be moved. unhcr.org/news/press/201… 1/
Hundreds have been left behind in Abu Salim, reportedly including children and pregnant women. Detainees say they can hear fighting clearly & it seems to be getting closer. UNHCR says a "rapid escalation in fighting" is why they couldn't move more people. unhcr.org/news/press/201…
In today’s @guardian. “They (tell) migrants that if you know how to shoot a gun we will make you stay with us.” #libya
An update from Qasr bin Ghashir detention centre, where refugees/migrants trapped there say they've been getting one meal a day & 500ml of water, but they're frightened & unable to sleep, because of the sounds of heavy weapons. #tripoli #libya
I'll be on @bbcworldservice's Newshour shortly talking about the situation for refugees in Libya: bbc.co.uk/programmes/p00…
I'm hearing that more than 200 people - including the remaining women & children - were moved from Abu Salim dc to the UNHCR centre in Tripoli today. Around 475 men apparently remain, & they've been told they will be moved to centres outside the city.
179 more refugees were moved from Abu Salim dc to the UNHCR centre yesterday. Current & former detainees say around 30 minors remain in Abu Salim, close to the front lines. #libya #tripoli
"The underage in Abu Salim are stressed. They're crying still."
"From the (remaining) men, (out of) 475 more than 30 ppl are underage." #tripoli #libya
My latest @zeitonline: on detained migrants & refugees (including a 14-year-old boy) reportedly being forced to move & load weapons, & assist fighters, on the GNA side in Tripoli. zeit.de/politik/auslan… #libya
A few hours ago I got a message from a refugee I've been in touch with since December, who's apparently being evacuated from Libya to Niger today: "Am in airport to travel Niger. Wish all the best. Today it's fantastic day for me. I hope my people behind will evacuate soon."
& I’ve also been getting a lot of happy messages the past few days from refugees moved from dcs to the UNHCR centre in Tripoli.
“Today is a unique day for me and friends because we have got a freedom... We are now at the gathering hotel of UNHCR,” this man said.
Message from one of the hundreds of people still left in Abu Salim detention centre, close to clashes, saying how frightened they are: “Yesterday the whole day we hear (fighting). When it bombs our door vibrates. I think it is very near to us.”
"UNHCR has evacuated some 163 refugees from Libya to Niger in the first such flight since fighting escalated in the Libyan capital two weeks ago. The flight landed early on Friday." unhcr.org/news/press/201…
Here’s the update I received yesterday from Qasr Bin Ghashir dc, where 700+ refugees & migrants remain on the front lines of fighting. They say many people are getting sick. I believe they’re still being given the chance to go to a dc in Zintan instead, but are refusing. #tripoli
A message & photos from Qasr Bin Ghashir dc today. One attempted suicide there yesterday, according to my source. #libya #tripoli
Photos I was sent today from a refugee still in Abu Salim: one of the detention centres in the middle of fighting in Tripoli. Hundreds of men remain there, as well as 30 minors, I’m told.
“These refugees are on the target of the war, they need help to evacuate to safe place,” my source said.
When I asked if they got fed today, he said: “At this time we don’t care about food, only how we can survive our life.”
My latest @irishtimes is on the conditions for children in Libya's detention centres, including roughly 400 in Tripoli, where fighting is currently raging. irishtimes.com/news/world/afr… #libya
Hundreds of children are being locked up indefinitely, as a direct result of EU policy. Some go days without food, are terrified by nearby fighting or are at risk of forced recruitment. None get an education. I'm posting more about it in this thread:
A video I was sent yest by refugee/migrant detainees in Abu Salim dc. They say they're protesting being left in an area with clashes, & no one taking responsibility. They say UNHCR told them the Libyans are responsible, but the Libyan guards run away any time fighting gets bad.
Messages from Qasr Bin Ghashir dc, where there are still 700+ refugees/migrants, incl roughly 45 young children. They say they’ve been instructed to stay inside as fighting intensifies around them. #libya #tripoli
From Abu Salim dc today: “We hear the sound of bombs (closer) than yesterday.”
Shelling tonight in Tripoli. Here are some messages from Sebha detention centre.
“Praying is the only solution.”
“No words for these terrifying moments.”
From Qasr bin Ghashir dc today: no food in days; they say they're drinking dirty water.
"Some people get diarrhoea, especially all small babies (are) sick."
"The problem is the humanity was lost from the world."
#libya #tripoli
A usually reliable source says he recognises one of the men in this picture as a Sudanese refugee, who was taken from Tajoura detention centre last September, & forced to help GNA-aligned fighters in Mitiga Airport. I haven't confirmed that elsewhere.
Two sources now saying they recognise a man in this photo as a refugee who was forced from a detention centre last year by GNA-aligned fighters. Grateful to hear from anyone with more information.
A third source saying this is not one of the people who was forced from Tajoura last September (they believe that man actually died during the last round of fighting). So this is still not clear.
New photos of the Libyan coastguard: who are receiving tens of millions of euro in EU support to intercept migrants & refugees trying to reach Europe.
Libyan NGO Migrace managed to get back to Qasr bin Ghashir dc yesterday & deliver enough food for a few days. 1/
Refugees/migrants there had again gone days without eating & said they're incredibly grateful. 700+ (including children) remain in the centre of clashes. #libya #tripoil.
Receiving multiple reports that fighters have attacked refugees/migrants in Qasr bin Ghashir detention centre. More than ten people shot & two possibly killed, according to sources. #libya #tripoli
Urgent situation at Qasr bin Ghashir: Detainees say Haftar's soldiers are attacking them, shooting & now bringing tanks. One says they were searched for phones before the attack. I'm being sent a lot of photos of injuries, incl this man (face cropped out) who was shot in the neck
Another message from Qasr bin Ghashir, where detainees say they desperately need emergency medical assistance. "10 people are bleeding a lot, please I need emergency assistance, help please please." #libya #tripoli
I wanted to hold off until I had multiple confirmations, but every source there (four now) is telling me this attack was by LNA-aligned fighters. #libya #tripoli
More injuries, following today's attack on a migrant detention centre in Tripoli (faces cropped out). Migrants/refugees were obviously unarmed and defenceless. #qasrbinghashir #libya #tripoli
I have lost contact with all my sources in Qasr bin Ghashir detention centre & have no idea what's happened in the past few hours or what condition they're in. Hoping some medical help has managed to reach them.
One of the last messages I got was from an Eritrean who said LNA-aligned fighters were still there & were seizing all phones. He said he was hiding to write the message to me, said danger is ongoing & begged for emergency help. That was hours ago. #qasrbinghashir #libya #tripoli
Linking in my report on what we know so far. I have reached out to the LNA for comment, but heard nothing back yet.
I’ve regained contact with one person in Qasr bin Ghashir dc. He says an ambulance came & took away the bodies of two people who died, as well as some more injured. Others with serious injuries, who need help, are still there though. #libya #tripoli
He says some people were screaming with grief last night. Women were also present, & it seems like some fainted during the shootings.
I'm still trying to get confirmation from another source that people were killed. The area is very dangerous and difficult to access, so that's been hard.
Here are screengrabs from one of the videos I was sent, showing the aftermath of the shooting in the migrant detention centre in Qasr bin Ghashir yesterday. #libya
My latest report (not on the QBG incident): on whether the conflict could increase the number of migrants crossing the sea.
Sincere apologies for not including a warning on some of my previous tweets. I know there are family members of detainees following me, and I'm sorry to have caused any extra distress.
EU Commission response to me asking them about detainees being shot at Qasr bin Ghashir detention centre yesterday, & whether it makes them reconsider supporting the Libyan coastguard to forcibly return refugees/migrants to Libya.
Amnesty International: “Horrific attack targeting refugees and migrants at detention centre must be investigated as a war crime” amnesty.org/en/latest/news…
UN Refugee Agency statement from yesterday, which mentions the attack on detainees in Qasr bin Ghashir. I was asking witnesses last night about UNHCR's claim there were no bullet wounds. They all said that is untrue, with one describing it as "false news". unhcr.org/news/press/201…
I was getting terrified messages last night from one of the men who was moved from Qasr bin Ghashir to the Azzawya detention centre yesterday, following the shooting. "We are dangerous now. They shooting us again."
He says the people running the new centre are human traffickers. They tried to force the new arrivals into a dark place with no sunlight by shooting & scaring them, & said “if you want to come out of here you will pay money,” in front of the UN.
“He said pay for me 4,000 dinars, I will put you in the sea. Or if you not want to pay 4,000 dinars I will send you back to your country.” - from man moved to Azzawya detention centre from Qasr Bin Ghashir dc yesterday, who was begging for help.
A message from an Eritrean still in Qasr bin Ghashir, who was hearing his own reports from the 300+ that were moved yesterday. "They post safe place & the place is hell." #libya
Press statement from @amnesty: 'Amnesty challenges French government's "reckless" donation to Libyan coastguard'
My latest on Tuesday's shooting in Qasr bin Ghashir detention centre (with video): 'Calls for Libyan shooting to be investigated as "war crime"' irishtimes.com/news/world/afr… #tripoli #libya
“Deliberately firing on detained civilians, including migrants and refugees, would be a war crime,” said @GerrySimpsonHRW. “Indiscriminately firing on a detention centre known to contain fighters and civilians breaches the laws of war.” #libya #tripoli
Messages from a survivor of the Qasr bin Ghashir dc shooting, who’s upset at what he feels is a cover up of what happened, & wants to reiterate that none of them are safe yet, despite being moved. #libya
In today’s @Telegraph: refugees/migrants in five Tripoli detention centres say they’ve been forced to move or carry weapons, while one who escaped told me he was given an AK47 & made to fight.
Read here: telegraph.co.uk/news/2019/04/2…
Sarraj government denies recruiting migrants for Tripoli battle m.aawsat.com/english/home/a…
The pope has appealed for the evacuation of refugees from Libyan camps. “I make an appeal that especially the women, children & sick can be evacuated as soon as possible through humanitarian corridors," Pope Francis said today. reuters.com/article/us-lib…
Important to note: Refugees/migrants in five detention centres say they've been forced to assist or fight with GNA-aligned militias since April 4, but detainees in another centre told me they had to assist LNA-aligned militias during the last bad clashes.
Video sent today from Abu Salim detention centre, south Tripoli. “The conflict is still continuing. We (are) hearing the heavy sound of weapons,” said a detainee there. #libya 1/
“Everybody is in stress but MSF also visited us and gave us plumpyfield.” - detainee in Abu Salim today. 2/
More information on those being evacuated:
Eritrean refugees in Europe are cycling from Frankfurt to Brussels, to call for the evacuation of refugees from Libya.
A message from a refugee in a Tripoli detention centre, sent today. "Refugees trapped in this crossfire are becoming more vulnerable. We can't even rest, truly, from the noise of heavy weapons." soundcloud.com/user-60656923/… #libya
"We are afraid of being targeted. We've been the victims of all suffering, & European policies… We are not requesting to take us to Europe or to first class countries, but we are asking to come out from this crossfire." #libya
BBC investigation looking at how LNA members filmed themselves committing war crimes and put them on YouTube. #libya
EU-supported Libyan coastguard continues to return people to Libya, despite conflict.
More info on the Eritrean refugees cycling from Frankfurt to Brussels, to protest outside the EU.
Urgent update from Triq al Sikka dc: I have information that the 22 (including minors) who have been isolated & tortured for two months are now being forcibly returned to their countries. Reps from Eritrea & Ethiopia allegedly visited Sikka today with IOM.
"Things have got worse. I am afraid of what can happen next. I feel more hungry than any day ever."
"We don't have any food from any NGO. Like me, people don't have money... It is very hard."
-my latest AJE report, on slow starvation in Libyan migrant dcs.
"We adapt to hunger, just we accept [it]," said a detained teenager.
"[We don't care] about the scarcity of food, but we care about our life. How to leave the worst country of Libya to safe place. Please, do your best to evacuate us to a safe place."
Pictured are men who have been held underground for two months. My info is they also underwent torture. (man on right is embassy staff). Libyan Dept for Illegal Migration now claims they will be "voluntarily" returned to Eritrea: facebook.com/%D8%AC%D9%87%D…
Messages from a survivor of the Qasr bin Ghashir dc shooting, who fled to Tripoli with his pregnant wife. He says they haven’t been given any help from UN organisations, despite going to their offices. She needs medication & they need protection, he says. #libya
IOM now saying they are not involved in the deportation of Eritreans & Ethiopians who have undergone more than two months of isolation & torture in Triq al Sikka dc, despite Libya's Department for Combatting Illegal Migration saying they are yesterday.
Appreciation from a refugee in another detention centre for MSF, who apparently delivered nutritional supplements. Food is a massive problem now. Even detainees out of Tripoli, eg in Zawiya, say they’re only being fed max once a day.
I’m hearing of the death of a 38 yo Eritrean man in Sabaa detention centre, Tripoli. He apparently had TB - & many of those who have it are struggling without enough food. He died April 17, according to someone who knew him. #libya
Latest confirmation that the EU-funded Libyan coastguard continues to intercept boats of people trying to escape.
Desperate messages from a refugee in Sabaa detention centre, Tripoli, saying they’re all in danger. #libya
Urgent situation in Zawiya dc, where survivors of the Qasr bin Ghashir shooting say they’re being forced to leave after two days without food. They say management has been abusive & threatening since they arrived, & now hundreds are outside with no idea what to do.
Messages I just received from Zawiya. Sources there also have all repeatedly said that the detention centre is being run by people traffickers.
The head of the militia that runs the centre, Mohammed Kachalf, was sanctioned in 2018 for human trafficking. un.org/securitycounci…
After hours outside, it seems the refugees/migrants are going back into the detention centre. They were worried about being kidnapped & tortured if they were forced to leave, but they're also upset at the continuous abuse inside. Now, their biggest concern is getting food & water
From @OCHA_Libya: "IOM and UNHCR report that many refugees and migrants in Azzawya (Zawiya) Al Nasr DC, particularly those previously transferred from Qasr Bin Ghasheer, are extremely distressed and in need of psychosocial support (PSS)". reliefweb.int/sites/reliefwe…
I've received messages from two refugees in the UNHCR Gathering & Departure Facility in Tripoli, saying management are only feeding everyone there once at night now, because of Ramadan. "We have a lot of kids and pregnant women," one man messaged.
Thread about the Eritreans who cycled hundreds of miles to Brussels this week, to protest at the treatment of refugees in Libya.
Non-Muslim refugees in Tripoli's UNHCR centre say Muslim refugees were registered at the start of Ramadan & now they're the only ones being fed. The rest - including children & pregnant women - have gone more than 24 hours without eating.
I'm being told there are around 75 Muslims & 285 Christians at the UNHCR GDF centre. The majority still haven't eaten. Those I'm in touch with say when people complained they were told to speak to the manager about it tomorrow.
In another Tripoli detention centre I'm being told guards said only Muslim detainees can eat a morning meal today, but Muslim detainees refused to take anything if the others weren't allowed eat too. None of them got food in the end.
In the UNHCR GDF centre, adults are reportedly giving the children water mixed with sugar to combat hunger pangs.
Meanwhile, refugees/migrants who survived the Qasr bin Ghashir shooting, & were moved to Zawiya, have issued the appeal below. (My report on what they went through just two weeks ago: irishtimes.com/news/world/afr…)
Breaking: There's been a bombing on the grounds of Tajoura detention centre, south Tripoli. No one injured, from my information, but detainees are very shocked and frightened. #libya
Today's @guardian 'Today in Focus' podcast is about the situation for refugees in Libya & the messages I've been receiving since last August.
Thanks so much to the team there @rachel_hump @GuardianAnushka⁩ @harrietgrant @anniekelly theguardian.com/news/audio/201…
Stats on the increasing percentage of people who leave Libya by sea dying or going missing.
Non-Muslim refugees at Tripoli's UNHCR GDF centre say this today was the first meal they've been given since Monday night. Among them are pregnant women & children.
“I need (people) to know the world is blind to refugees. Even when we speak, no one can hear us.” - sent today by a teenager in Abu Salim detention centre, south Tripoli. #libya
Message from the UNHCR Gathering & Departure Facility, where I've been told a 21yo pregnant woman is very sick - vomiting blood for the past two weeks. Refugees say they're worried she won't survive the night.
Today I also received more photos & videos from detained migrants/refugees who have been forced to assist militias & work in military bases. It's not possible to publish them yet because of the risk of retaliation, but this is an ongoing issue.
For the @IrishTimes: on the air strike in Tripoli's Tajoura migrant detention centre on Tuesday night. Detained migrants/refugees are terrified they've become targets.
“Really very frightening. Everyone is so worried.”
“Migrants are targeted by everyone." irishtimes.com/news/world/afr…
From UNHCR statement yest: "UNHCR is also concerned at the use of dcs for storing weapons and military equipment. Utilising civilian infrastructure in this manner constitutes a violation of international humanitarian law and must be avoided at all costs." unhcr.org/news/press/201…
"In the end, people don’t just need a doctor, they need attention," writes former MSF staff member who worked in Tripoli detention centres. "They need to know that someone, somewhere, cares about them and treats them with the dignity they deserve."
Reports of rockets or air strikes hitting close to Sabaa detention centre in Tripoli. I’m told detained refugees/migrants are outside & frightened. #libya
"The boat most probably departed from Libya and the number of deaths could rise."
Around 141 people were transferred to the UNHCR GDF centre from Zawiya dc yesterday.
One messaged me about his guilt at leaving others behind: "I am not happy. My spirit is with them. While I went out yesterday I saw heartbreaking looks from them."
Breaking: Another air strike in or very close to Tajoura detention centre. People there are terrified & asking if there's any hope of help for them.
Got sent this video showing what detainees could see from Sabaa detention centre, Tripoli, last night.
"Hits the military camp located few meters from behind our wall" - a refugee there messaged me.
Our @Channel4News report on abuses against refugees/migrants in Libya since the latest conflict started, broadcast this evening: channel4.com/news/revealed-…
I’m being told this is a photo of the latest air strike in Tajoura migrant detention centre, east Tripoli, today.
“I never got intimidated before like the present time. Since I want to act like a man I hide it inside.” - refugee in his 20s, in Sabaa detention centre. #libya
Still receiving a lot of calls for help from the dc in Zintan. Even though they're not as affected by the war, they're very far from international/aid orgs & the conditions sound horrific. I've been hearing about people dying from a lack of medical care since last Sept. 1/
These are messages I received on Thursday:
"Every two weeks one person died in the detention. Maybe you will (be) surprised. Death is nothing, just that is our fate."
2/ #libya
More messages from the detention centre in Zintan, where detainees feel they've been abandoned. (Here's an article I wrote a few months ago, about an Eritrean dentist who died in Zintan after being transferred during the war in Tripoli last Aug/Sept: theguardian.com/commentisfree/…) 3/
Statement by ICC prosecutor to the UN Security Council last week, included this section on crimes against migrants in Libya.
"My team continues to assess the feasibility of bringing cases before the ICC in relation to crimes against migrants." icc-cpi.int/Pages/item.asp…
With the war in Tripoli, I haven't been able to properly follow the conditions in Tunisia for refugees who've escaped Libya within the past six months. I've heard there are a lot of problems though.
@HAMIEHAMIE1 is one of several posting updates.
This footage shows a migrant/refugee swimming in the Mediterranean to escape the Libyan coastguard, reaching a European-flagged ship, & then being taken away by them anyway.
Nearly nine months on, I'm still being contacted all the time by new people saying they are refugees trapped in Libya. This person says he is 16, locked in a Tripoli dc. "We are between fire. I'm hidden to write to you because they don't allow (us) to use telephones."
Info from a reliable source on the fate of some of those who tried to escape Libya & whose boats were intercepted by the Libyan coastguard this weekend.
Wanted to quickly comment on a Twitter account that keeps claiming I advised refugees not to move & instead to protest in Qasr bin Ghashir dc last month.
This is not true. I'm a journalist so professionally can't advise sources of anything.
Sad news of the death of another detainee in Abu Salim dc. Someone messaged me a few months ago saying Kidane (pictured) was very sick after being released from smugglers. He reportedly passed away yesterday.
People who were with him say his family have already been notified.
& reports of another death in the detention centre in Zintan: a 21 year old, also Eritrean. A source there is saying this would bring the number of deaths up to 20 in the past six months. #libya
More information on Haben Dirar, 21, who - like many others in Libyan detention centres - apparently dreamed of continuing his education once he had reached a safe place. 2/
Amnesty says they've gathered evidence densely populated residential areas in Abu Salim were indiscriminately attacked with rockets between 15-17 April amnesty.org/en/latest/news…
Some messages I was receiving from detained refugees there on those dates:
Messages from Zintan detention centre that four people have been trying to kill themselves by grabbing hold of electrical wire, and other detainees have had to tie their hands so they're not able to.
Pictures of refugees/migrants protesting in Zintan. 180km southwest of Tripoli, they are far from international organisations & say someone is dying every two weeks there from a lack of medical care & poor conditions. #libya
(Side note: I asked how they made the signs & a detainee told me they wrote on the sponge of mattresses using tomato paste mixed with pepper.) #libya
Sorry this is graphic, but I've repeatedly been told by detainees in Zintan that the bodies of refugees/migrants who die there are kept on site for long periods of time. It's very hard to get independent confirmation of this, but they want proper funerals for them. #libya
Every day now detainees mourn the dead, one Eritrean in Zintan told me.
Multiple reports now that new guards have arrived at the UNHCR GDF centre in Tripoli. They've reportedly been hitting & kicking refugees, shooting in the air to scare them, & forcing them to stay inside. This is the centre where many vulnerable from the front lines were taken.
Detainees there were apparently told the rules of the centre were changing on Wed. That night, new guards arrived & started abusing refugees, incl taking food. From one: "They have entered to the ladies at night, this is a violation, even this night they repeated it again." 2/
"This place is the same as a detention centre," says a teenager who was moved to the UNHCR Gathering & Departure Facility after Tripoli's fighting started. Libyan authorities are not supposed to be working inside the GDF centre afaik, but it's unclear who these new guards are. 3/
Graphic image warning: Here's a screenshot from a new video on Facebook, allegedly showing a woman being tortured by smugglers in Libya, while begging for $13,000 to save her life.
I wrote in Feb about how migrants are using Facebook to raise ransoms:
In the video linked above, the woman (who I'm told is Ethiopian Oromo) cries while speaking to camera. Hands & feet are tied behind her. It's difficult to confirm, but the scene is similar to others I've seen from Bani Walid, where many migrants are held for months or years. 2/
More messages from the UNHCR GDF centre that the newly arrived guards (who seem to be non-UNHCR staff) entered into rooms again at night, while refugees were sleeping. There also still seems to be a problem with food provision (beyond it being Ramadan).
GDF stands for Gathering and Departure Facility. From UNHCR December statement: "The GDF is the first centre of its kind in Libya and is intended to bring vulnerable refugees to a safe environment…" unhcr.org/news/press/201…
I've also been told by multiple sources in the UNHCR centre that a minor boy's teeth were broken yesterday when he was hit by one of the new guards. #libya #tripoli
More from another detainee, on the treatment of 100+ migrants/refugees caught by the Libyan coastguard last week and brought to Tajoura dc. He says they’ve had no food or water for two days.
At the dc in Zintan detainees are also saying there’s been no food or water since yesterday morning. #libya
Information from a source in Zawiya dc about what he says is happening to another group brought back to Libya by the coastguard last weekend, after trying to reach Europe, & locked up there instead. “I hear screaming voices.”
I haven't heard from anyone in Zintan since yesterday. Last time they messaged they said the phone was almost out of battery. They were frightened about why all food/water was being denied, & what might happen to them.
A man from Darfur, Sudan, who is currently in Tajoura detention centre, east Tripoli, has asked me to share the following statement. #libya
Understatement of the day, from a refugee in detention.
Absolute despair & desperation from Zintan. They've been without food or water for days. They say detainees die an average of every two weeks (still trying to get any outside comment on this).
They want to break out but fear guards are all around them.
Meanwhile, both the GNA (UN-backed government in Tripoli) & LNA (Haftar's forces) have hired public relations firms, on one-year contracts worth $2 million. Interesting to see if this makes anyone more forthcoming about what's happening in dcs. politico.com/politicoinflue…
Messages from Zintan saying around 18 people escaped, but two were captured, badly beaten & isolated. Water was turned on for about 10 mins last night so they could drink, but they've still had no food since last week. People are critically sick, he says.
Since the conflict in Tripoli started, 309 refugees have been evacuated from Libya to Niger & Italy.
A Qasr bin Ghashir shooting survivor who expects to be among the next group told me he still can't believe it, & is worried for everyone left behind him.
More from the dc in Zintan, where detainees say they got one cup of water and macaroni - their first food since last Friday - but the situation is still an emergency.
A video I've been sent from the detention centre in Zintan, apparently showing men getting one cup of water after days without it. They say their guards shut off food, water, & electricity on Friday, but opened the tap for 10 mins at 4am yesterday- enough to pour just this much.
My source there says they started fighting once they realised the bucket was nearly empty and some people wouldn't be able to drink anything.
Important to note that Zintan isn't even in the region with active fighting right now. There's no clear explanation for why these people can't be given water & food.
Many were moved to Zintan to be "out of harm's way" during Tripoli clashes last year.
I've repeatedly tried to speak to the International Medical Corps, who are supposed to be providing medical care to detainees in Zintan, about what's happening there - but they refuse to answer. From just now:
Libya's interior minister tells @euronews that putting unstable Libya in charge of managing Europe-seeking migrants is like "a sick doctor being asked to treat patients". euronews.com/2019/05/21/lib… @AnneliseBorges
Detainees in Zintan say a medical worker from IMC came there today, but was only allowed speak to them through a small window, and couldn't actually enter the hall or treat anyone. #libya
Detainees in Tajoura dc, east Tripoli, say they've been told 80 of each nationality must be moved to Janzour detention centre tonight, because of the lack of food in Tajoura. They refused to go, and say they were told guards will come back in an hour & force them.
285 migrants/refugees returned to Libya today. People are going into the detention centres way, way faster than they can be evacuated from them.
I'm in contact with a friend of some of the 87 people who tried to cross the Mediterranean & were intercepted yesterday.
Some messages he had sent me before: aljazeera.com/news/2019/05/l…
A video from the detention centre in Zintan, showing the pile of rubbish & insects refugees/migrants are locked inside with. This is the dc where 20 have reportedly died since mid-September. #libya
More from the dc in Zintan - "Yesterday an IMC doctor was come but he did not enter to the hall, he checked by small hole window. The manager did not allowed to enter inside. In a day we ate once 6:00pm and drink water once open at morning." #libya
Detainees in Zintan are finally being allowed/ordered to move the pile of rubbish they’ve been locked inside with for weeks. #libya
People I’ve been in touch with for nine months were among the 149 refugees evacuated from Libya to Italy yesterday. They’ve spent years between smugglers & detention centres. unhcr.org/news/press/201…
I think there are a lot of nerves & rumours about what life might be like it Italy, but mostly they’re grateful to be leaving Libya, a place where they were abused, tortured, lived through war, saw friends die, etc.
UNHCR video from yesterday's evacuations. Many more people are still being forcibly returned to Libya, by the EU-supported Libyan coastguard, than are evacuated: MSF says 250 are returned for every 100 evacuated.
Map of air strikes across Tripoli. Targets have previously included migrant detention centres, or places very close to them.
Another protest photo sent from the detention centre in Zintan. #libya
Comment the UN Refugee Agency sent me on May 23 when I asked them about the large number of detained refugees/migrants dying in Zintan. “People are unable to access even the basics needed to survive.” #libya
Refugees evacuated to Italy were taken from the Tripoli UNHCR Gathering & Departure Facility, but those left behind there continue to say guards are being abusive & they’re getting very little food.
Photos I’ve been sent from Zawiya detention centre, showing detainees sleeping in the toilets, reportedly because the halls are so full now as so many more have been brought back from the Mediterranean by the Libyan coastguard.
Detainees in Zintan telling me MSF were blocked from entering the hall they’re being kept in today, & IMC were blocked by management on Wednesday.
Worth reiterating too that both Zawiya & Zintan (like most of the dcs I tweet about) are “official” detention centres, ostensibly run by the Libyan Department for Combatting illegal Migration.
Two bodies retrieved so far, according to IOM, in latest Mediterranean tragedy.
ICC submission calls for prosecution of the EU over migrant/refugee deaths. theguardian.com/law/2019/jun/0…
“245-page doc calls for punitive action over the EU’s deterrence-based migration policy after 2014, which allegedly ‘intended to sacrifice the lives of migrants in distress at sea, with the sole objective of dissuading others in similar situation seeking safe haven in Europe’.”
Here's a link to the full submission, which I've just realised references my reporting (& others): we.tl/t-EZxAILiU5k
Some of the audio I was sent from Zawiya dc last night. Multiple sources said detainees recently brought there from the Mediterranean tried to escape & were shot at. It's not clear how many got away/if anyone was injured. soundcloud.com/user-60656923/…
From a UNHCR statement today: "More people (1,224) were returned to Libya by the Libyan Coast Guard in May alone than in the rest of 2019 combined."
Asking an Eritrean detainee in Libya what he thinks about the submission to the ICC, which says the EU is implicated in crimes against humanity because of its policy in the central Mediterranean.
Some of the 22 refugees & migrants that have reportedly died in Zintan detention centre since last September. #libya
This list was compiled by detainees in Zintan, & I've managed to confirm some of the names & photos with detainees in other centres who knew people who died there, though it is hard to get further verification.
If anyone knows any of these people & is willing to speak to me about them do please get in touch.
& @Channel4News report broadcast this evening: channel4.com/news/starvatio…
Statement from the UN human rights office on the number of deaths in Zintan detention centre: news.un.org/en/story/2019/… #libya
More than a month since we published this report, but I'm hearing from sources in detention that refugees/migrants are still being forcibly taken from detention centres to help with fighting.
Speaking at #mojofest in Galway yesterday about how phones are a lifeline for refugees in Libya, & my sources’ incredible bravery sending information exposing gross human rights abuses in the government-run detention centres many are locked up in.
'Mediterranean will be "sea of blood" without rescue boats, UN warns' theguardian.com/world/2019/jun…
Photos from Abu Salim dc two days ago, where Sudanese refugees/migrants say a guard attacked them after trying to make some go “to work.” At least one detainee was later brought to hospital, according to several sources.
Yesterday in Abu Salim detainees say there was again a dispute with the guards, who took some phones and tried to make those unregistered with UNHCR go in a different hall to be locked up there.
In Al Nasr detention centre in Zawiya, detainees say management is forcing them to stay outside bc of overcrowding due to so many new arrivals who were intercepted at sea. They constructed new shelters themselves, but say they’re being pushed to destroy them again.
New photo from Zintan dc. Eritrean detainees say since the report last week they’ve been moved to a new room. It’s much smaller but still very overcrowded.
“The space is not enough to sleep ,it is very small. We need support, nothing is changed. We are too overcrowed.” - messages from a detainee in Zintan last night.
Detainees in Zintan are saying IMC staff and Libyan authorities came today to look at them, though they didn't give any treatment or aid. A recent UN report said aid workers believe more than 80% of people detained there could have tuberculosis.
A survivor of April's shooting in Qasr bin Ghashir detention centre appealing for help today for fellow survivors. #libya
Detainees in Abu Salim dc frightened as fighting escalates around them again. #tripoli #libya
Two sources in Zawiya dc saying Osama, the manager, is forcing them to tear down the shelters they constructed & have been living in outside. They say they don't know how they'll survive afterwards, as there's too many people there & no more space indoors. #libya
Former UN Refugee Agency official Jeff Crisp continues to press UNHCR for more information on how they're operating in & regarding Libya.
Refugees in Tunisia, who escaped Libya, protested today to ask for better treatment & mark #WorldRefugeeDay. They say they were stopped by police with tear gas, & some were arrested.
More from the protest in Medenine earlier. These refugees say they feel unwelcome in Tunisia, & there aren’t proper provisions for food, healthcare & accommodation there. Many are still very traumatised from what they experienced in Libya.
131 refugees were evacuated to Niger from Tripoli last night. UNHCR statement: unhcr.org/news/press/201… #libya
Very interesting piece relevant to what's happening in Libya & EU policy there too.
Detainees in Abu Salim migrant detention centre staged a protest for #WorldRefugeeDay. They remain on the frontlines of conflict.
Second part of the protest video. There are c.615 people in Abu Salim, including minors. They say they’re not getting food & need protection. They regularly hear fighting nearby: “big sounds of heavy weapons.”
& some photos from the protest at Abu Salim dc. Nearly 40 have TB, according to detainees there. #tripoli #libya
New MSF/Doctors Without Borders statement about the situation in Zintan & Gharyan detention centres, calling conditions "catastrophic". msf.org.uk/article/msf-te…
I wrote about Zintan & Gharyan before here: aljazeera.com/indepth/featur… #libya
Messages today from Zawiya Al Nasr dc, where a detainee says they been given just one piece of bread & a portion of macaroni to share between six people today. He's been detained more than two years now & says he's feeling lost about what to do.
Messages from Zintan detention centre last night: "Still, we are alive."
They're expressing appreciation for MSF, who have begun working in the centre.
Again, this is the dc where at least 22 people have died & a recent UN report said more than 80% may have tuberculosis. #libya
Abu Salim dc last night: electricity is off, except for a few hours at night, meaning they’re not getting water during the day because the water pump won’t work. #libya #tripoli
Latest on Libyan detention centres: Speaking under condition of anonymity, an aid official with knowledge of the situation in Zintan said there had been “huge negligence”.
22 refugees & migrants dead (incl a father & child); more than 80% may have TB. irishtimes.com/news/world/afr…
Reports from multiple sources that Sudanese detainees who tried to escape Tajoura dc last Friday were shot at. Some are saying two were killed & survivors taken to an unknown location.
This comes just days after a visit by the Italian ambassador.
Meanwhile, the UN Refugee Agency issues an appeal for $210 million "to address deaths & abuses on Central & Western Mediterranean routes." unhcr.org/news/press/201…
Receiving information that refugees/migrants were shot by Libyan security after trying to escape while being moved from Khoms to Zliten detention centre on Monday. The majority of the 117 brought back to Libya from the Mediterranean, presumably by the coastguard, did get away.
Photos from a man who says he’s among dozens of refugees camped outside UNHCR’s offices in Tripoli, hoping for help.
“Since the war has taking place in April I have face very difficult moments,I have gone to UNHCR office &there is no much help, the humanitarian situation is down”
“Forcibly taking rescued people back to a war-torn country, having them imprisoned and tortured, is a crime that we will never commit.’’ theguardian.com/world/2019/jun… #libya
"I have white skin, I was born in a rich country, I have the right passport, I was allowed to attend three universities, and I graduated at the age of 23. I feel a moral obligation to help those people who did not have the foundations that I did." m.dw.com/en/what-drives…
A detainee in Zawiya dc saying they're not being given clean water to drink. #libya
Talking to a long term refugee contact who says he was thrown out of a Tripoli detention centre & slept on the streets until a Libyan guy came across him in the middle of the night & brought him to a farm, where he's working in return for food.
"I had no choice & accepted."
"In this place I wish death every day," he said. "I serve all day and night on the farm and inside the house."
An Eritrean detainee who was held in Abu Salim dc, south Tripoli, has died - the third to die since April, according to others there.
This man was 20, another was just 17.
As in every other death I’ve covered, the family found out because other detainees managed to contact them using phones that are often prohibited. Libyan authorities & UN agencies take no part in informing families - something I’ve confirmed w aid workers.
Last week I spoke to the brother of a young man who died in Zintan dc last October. He said he found out what happened after seeing his brother’s picture on Facebook in Dec & contacting the poster.
I was the first person to speak to him about it since.
Messages last night from Tajoura migrant detention centre, where more than 40 were killed following an air strike, according to health & emergency workers. Horrific news.
My source on the phone from Tajoura last night was asking for me to pray for them. "Oh my God, it's a terrible moment… pray for us, Oh my God." #libya
Background on the air strike(s): "Bodies were strewn on the floor of the hangar, mixed with the belongings and blood-soaked clothes of migrants" aljazeera.com/news/2019/07/d…
Refugees/migrants there are saying the death toll is much higher than what's being reported. 140-161 they're telling me. #tajoura #libya
A detainee I was speaking to at the time of the attack said there were at least two strikes.
Messaging with a Sudanese detainee in Tajoura now.
"The European Union & the UNHCR must bear responsibility for this massacre," he says. It's not the fault of Libyans so much as the international community that failed to protect them.
Aid officials saying again this isn't correct - it's 60-65 deaths & 70 injured.
Lack of updates here today while working on reports. Haven’t heard back from some of my contacts in Tajoura & still hoping they survived this. Thoughts with everyone still there & with the families of everyone killed.
Some of my previous work on Tajoura DC, where refugees/migrants worried about being targeted:
1. theguardian.com/global-develop…
2. irishtimes.com/news/world/afr…
3. telegraph.co.uk/news/2019/04/2… #libya
Missing some Tweet in this thread?
You can try to force a refresh.

Like this thread? Get email updates or save it to PDF!

Subscribe to Sally Hayden
Profile picture

Get real-time email alerts when new unrolls are available from this author!

This content may be removed anytime!

Twitter may remove this content at anytime, convert it as a PDF, save and print for later use!

Try unrolling a thread yourself!

how to unroll video

1) Follow Thread Reader App on Twitter so you can easily mention us!

2) Go to a Twitter thread (series of Tweets by the same owner) and mention us with a keyword "unroll" @threadreaderapp unroll

You can practice here first or read more on our help page!

Follow Us on Twitter!

Did Thread Reader help you today?

Support us! We are indie developers!

This site is made by just three indie developers on a laptop doing marketing, support and development! Read more about the story.

Become a Premium Member ($3.00/month or $30.00/year) and get exclusive features!

Become Premium

Too expensive? Make a small donation by buying us coffee ($5) or help with server cost ($10)

Donate via Paypal Become our Patreon

Thank you for your support!