More than 32,000 people were intercepted and returned to Libya last year, revealed the European Council on Refugees and Exiles (ECRE) in a report released on Friday.
The ECRE said that interceptions and returns to Libya “close to tripled in 2021 compared to 2020” and pointed out that the situation in Libya for migrants “continues to deteriorate.”
The European organization criticized the Libyan government’s appointment of Mohammed al-Khoja, a militia leader implicated in abuses against migrants, as the new head of the Department for Combating Irregular Migration (DCIM).
“Al-Khoja was previously the deputy head of DCIM and for years ran the Tarik al-Sikka centre in Tripoli, which is notorious for abuses including beatings, hard labour and a massive ransom scheme,” the ECRE explained. “He also has close ties to other, UN-sanctioned militia leaders and human traffickers in western Libya.”
📌 Med: Tragedy Continues as Routes Changes & Situation in Libya Deteriorates Even Further
New article w 2021 stats on the Med:
➡️ >1,500 lives lost at sea
➡️ >32,000 people intercepted & returned to 🇱🇾, where migrants face crimes against humanity
— ECRE (@ecre) January 14, 2022