TRIPOLI – Increasing violence towards refugees and migrants held in Libyan detention centers has forced Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) to suspend its operations at two facilities, the medical charity said.
MSF said its teams witnessed guards beating detainees, including those seeking treatment from MSF doctors, during a visit to the Mabani detention centre in Tripoli last week.
It also said its doctors treated 19 patients suffering from fractures, bruises, cuts and blunt trauma from beatings reported to the organisation, which has also suspended operations at Abu Salim detention centre.
“This is not an easy decision to make, as it means we won’t be present in detention centres where we know people are suffering on a daily basis,” said MSF head of mission in Libya, Beatrice Lau.
“However, the persistent pattern of violent incidents and serious harm to refugees and migrants, as well as the risk to the safety of our staff, has reached a level that we are no longer able to accept. Until the violence stops, and conditions improve, MSF can no longer provide humanitarian and medical care in these facilities,” she said.