Despairing teen refugee ‘ends life’ in Libya detention centre | Migration News

WARNING: The next story accommodates pictures which may be disturbing to some readers.

The image of a 19-year-old’s physique hanging lifeless from the ceiling in one of many halls-cum-dorms of the Ain Zara detention centre, south of Libya’s capital, Tripoli, is the most recent proof of the human price of the nation’s detention centres.

Mohamed Mahmoud Abdel Aziz, a refugee from Sudan’s war-torn area of Darfur, is believed to have killed himself on June 5 after being launched and apprehended once more within the span of two weeks.

Hundreds of refugees and asylum seekers in Libya are languishing within the centres, trapped in limitless cycles of detention and abuse with dire repercussions for his or her psychological well being and security.

Asylum seekers who spoke to Al Jazeera from inside Ain Zara stated Abdel Aziz’s physique was left hanging for hours within the room the place he lived with a whole lot of others.

Mustafa, one other Sudanese asylum seeker who requested that his identify be modified to guard his id, advised Al Jazeera the picture of Abdel Aziz’s physique was taken covertly by detainees on the centre. Libyan authorities later confiscated telephones to forestall the picture from spreading, and dozens weren’t returned.

Mohamed Mahmoud Abdel Aziz, 19, hanged himself in Ain Zara detention centre.
Mohamed Mahmoud Abdel Aziz, 19, is believed to have hanged himself in Ain Zara detention centre, close to the Libyan capital Tripoli. [Al Jazeera via sources]

Mustafa stated folks trapped within the detention centre are rising more and more determined as they see little or no hope for the long run.

“We’ve been right here for 5 months,” he stated. “Mohamed received bored with this till he reached this stage and he [killed himself].”

Let out, then detained once more

Abdel Aziz and Mustafa had been arrested in an in a single day raid whereas peacefully demonstrating for relocation, safety, and evacuation from Libya outdoors the United Nations’ refugee company (UNHCR) on January 10.

Greater than 600 folks had been violently arrested and detained that day. The protests adopted a serious crackdown within the western city of Gargaresh, a hub for asylum seekers from African international locations, that displaced hundreds of individuals and resulted within the detention of not less than 5,000.

Abdel Aziz was let out on Could 23 as a part of a bunch of 99 asylum seekers, together with 46 kids, evacuated from Ain Zara with the assist of UNHCR.

He possible spent days on the streets earlier than being apprehended once more by Libyan authorities and brought again to the centre, the place he’s believed to have taken his personal life shortly after.

Mohamed Mahmoud Abdel Aziz.
Mohamed Mahmoud Abdel Aziz [Al Jazeera via sources]

“He was given 500 dinar ($104) however it was not sufficient to hire any room to remain in,” Mustafa stated. “The UNHCR makes you signal a paper saying they can’t assist with lodging.”

The UNHCR advised Al Jazeera in a written assertion that it was “saddened by the tragic dying of the younger asylum seeker”. It didn’t verify the sum of help allotted however stated {the teenager} had “acquired money help in numerous instalments by our city programmes”.

The company offered a replica of the consent kind for switch, which states: “UNHCR is NOT offering lodging NOR can it organize for lodging.”

As of Could 22, the UNHCR estimates that there are 2,772 folks held in detention centres throughout Libya.

The company stated it doesn’t hold monitor of how many individuals are re-apprehended after being launched with its assist.

The Libyan authorities didn’t reply to requests for remark.

Little oversight

Hussein Baumi, Libya and Egypt campaigner at Amnesty Worldwide, advised Al Jazeera detention centres in Libya function with more and more scarce oversight on the a part of worldwide organisations, together with the UNHCR and the Worldwide Organisation for Migration (IOM).

Libyan authorities have closed centres run by the Directorate for Combatting Unlawful Migration (DCIM) that had been rife with abuse, however comparable patterns of violations have been reproduced in newly opened or re-opened centres which might be run by militias away from scrutiny.

Amnesty has documented torture, merciless and inhuman detention situations, extortion and compelled labour, in addition to invasive, humiliating and violent strip searches inside detention services.

Even when somebody is launched, freedom just isn’t assured for lengthy.

“Lots of people who’re launched are captured once more, typically by the identical militias,” Baumi stated, including that detention is commonly profitable for armed teams who ask for ransom. “It isn’t a protected house for migrants and asylum seekers.”

For individuals who had been hoping to cross by Libya on their approach to Europe, that’s usually not an possibility.

The European Union has spent greater than 57.2 million euros ($64.8m) in Libya, with the declared goal of “sav[ing] the lives of these making harmful journeys by sea or land”, in response to a truth sheet printed by the European Fee in June 2021.

It has skilled and geared up the Libyan coastguard to intercept boats of refugees and migrants hoping to make it to Europe and return them to Libyan shores. Human rights watchdogs have lengthy decried the alleged conduct of the coastguard, together with using firearms and the deliberate damaging of boats. 

Thus far in 2022, not less than 8,860 asylum seekers, refugees and migrants have been reported as intercepted by the Libyan coastguard and different naval authorities.

“Folks take boats realizing that they may die,” Baumi stated.

“That is the one method for them to flee mistreatment in Libya.”

When you or somebody is liable to suicide, these organisations might be able to assist.

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