Home » Libya, MSF: shooting in a detention center in Tripoli, one dead and two injured

Libya, MSF: shooting in a detention center in Tripoli, one dead and two injured

by admin

TRIPOLI – Doctors Without Borders denounced the death of one person and the wounding of two young people in the overcrowded detention center of AL Mabani, in Tripoli, which houses refugees and migrants. The wounded are two teenagers aged 17 and 18, accompanied to hospital with gunshot wounds: they were treated by an MSF team.

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According to information gathered by MSF, the night of the incident there were tensions that culminated in indiscriminate firefights in the cells where people who entered Libya illegally fleeing from war or misery with the hope of reaching Europe are detained. Libya considers illegal immigration a crime and pursues it with detention, in some of which very serious violations of human rights have been reported.

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“This shooting demonstrates the serious risks facing people locked up in detention centers for an indefinite period of time,” says Ellen van der Velden, head of MSF projects in Libya. “This latest act of violence is a clear confirmation that detention centers are dangerous places.”

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In recent weeks, MSF medical teams have denounced that they have witnessed an increase in tensions in Libyan detention centers. Unaccompanied women, children and minors are detained in very bad and sometimes inhumane conditions. Since the beginning of February, the situation in the camps has clearly worsened. It is the effect of the improvement in weather conditions and temperatures, which induce an increasing number of migrants and refugees to attempt the sea crossing to Europe: intercepted by the Libyan Coast Guard, they are locked up in the centers. In Tripoli, particularly in the Al Mabani detention center, living conditions have drastically worsened with the progressive overcrowding.

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In the first week of February, MSF reports, the number of people detained in Al Mabani has grown from 300 to 1,000 in a few days, and currently the facility houses about 1,500 people with little natural light and little ventilation available, with food and water. insufficient drinking water such as sanitation. In just one square meter, says MSF, up to three people are crowded together and it is impossible to even lie down. Scabies and tuberculosis have rapidly spread, and physical distancing to escape Covid is non-existent.

In recent months, shootings and deaths have been reported, and MSF teams report having witnessed the use of physical force by those who supervise the facilities. In February, MSF doctors treated 36 people for fractures, blunt trauma, abrasions, eye injuries, gunshot wounds and limb weakness in various detention centers; 15 of these patients were transferred by MSF to hospital for further treatment. The injuries were recent, showing that they were caused inside the detention centers.

The authorities of Al Mabani have opened an investigation, MSF asks to share the results and to “put an end to arbitrary detention in Libya with the immediate release of all the people currently held in the centers who must be guaranteed safe accommodation and access to basic services “.


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