Amnesty International Monday released a statement condemning the European Union’s cooperation with Libyan authorities to intercept refugees and migrants crossing the Mediterranean Sea to Europe. According to Amnesty, “migrants and refugees both in and outside of detention in Libya are systematically subjected to a litany of abuses by militias, armed groups and security forces with impunity.”
The EU began working with the Libyan Coast Guard in 2016, and leaders signed the Malta Declaration on February 2, 2017. Coastal nations like Italy have their own agreements with Libya.
The rights organisation said that, over those five years, more than 82,000 people have been returned to Libya to face “arbitrary detention, torture, cruel and inhuman detention conditions, rape and sexual violence, extortion, forced labour and unlawful killings”.
Despite these considerable human rights abuses in Libya, Amnesty reports that the EU naval operation and the Italian government plan to continue their cooperation with Libya.