Cape Town – Nearly 3 200 refugees are being held in Libyan detention centres, according to sources within the International Organization for Migration (IOM) and the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR).
According to reports, the refugees were being held in 11 detention centres across the north African country as of October 19, in dire conditions and with many at risk of serious abuse, said sources.
Refugee news website Info Migrants reported on Thursday that the figure included 1 178 people under the mandate of the UNHCR.
This means these people are either asylum seekers who have fled armed conflicts or persecution and have been registered by the UNHCR or they come from countries generating refugees, writes Info Migrants.
Meanwhile, a charter flight on the night of October 15 marked the resumption of UNHCR refugee evacuations from Libya, ending a seven-month suspension, writes Info Migrants.
According to a UNHCR report, the resumption of flights was evidence that despite the threat of Covid-19, evacuations from Libya were possible with joint efforts, shared expertise and medical protocols in place guaranteeing safe transfers.
The refugee agency reiterated that it continued to advocate with governments to provide more resettlement places and other durable solutions to enable more vulnerable refugees and asylum seekers to leave Libya.
The agency called on Libyan authorities to release all asylum seekers held in detention and for an end to arbitrary detention.
According to the latest data, UNHCR has registered 45 661 refugees and asylum seekers in Libya.
African News Agency (ANA)