The EU is considering a refugee deal with Libya. The German paper ‚Der Spiegel‘ reported that during the discussion about a possible migration deal with Libya, the German Foreign Office had sharply criticised the situation in Libya as executions and abandonment in the desert were common practice there. The German newspaper ‚Welt am Sonntag‚ informed that the German Embassy in Niamey, Niger, had reported on „most serious, systematic human rights violations.“. The paper further stated that „authentic mobile phone photos and videos prove that conditions reminiscent of concentration camps reign in the so-called private prisons.“
Traffickers and migrants are often held in such private prisons. According to ‚Welt am Sonntag‚, „executions of migrants who are unable to pay, torture, rapes, blackmail and abandonments in the desert are common practice there. Eye witnesses spoke of exactly five executions per week in one prison – with previous announcement and always on Fridays, in order to make room for new arrivals, and so as to raise the ‚human turnover‘ and thus the profit for the operators.“
‚Der Spiegel‘ reported that the Head of the Green Party in the EU parliament, Ska Keller, had demanded consequences. „If the German Government knows about this, it must make sure with all its might that no agreement with Libya is entered into,“ she said. Otherwise it could lead to „people being sent back to an inhumane situation.“
The situation in the civil-war-torn country has been fragile for years. Islamists, generals, religious and ethnic chiefs have been fighting for power. Since early 2014 more than half a million refugees have fled on boats from Northern Africa to Italy – most of them via Libya.
‚Der Spiegel‘ informed that Luxemburg’s Minister Jean Asselbom declared last week that he was hoping to enter into a refugee deal with Libya in the long run, like the one between Europe and Turkey. This agreement enables the EU to send most migrants and refugees from the Greek islands back to Turkey. ‚Der Spiegel‘ further said that Interior Minister Thomas de Maizière wanted to make sure „that refugees are not brought to Europe,“ and that he promoted refugee camps in Northern Africa. He answered the question of whether Libya would be included in such a deal with, „Libya is particularly complicated.“
Next week in Malta the EU government leaders want to discuss how the number of refugees from Northern Africa can be lowered. The Maltese EU Council presidency has presented proposals for a ‚protection line‘ inside Libyan territorial waters, in order to stop refugees from fleeing.
Source: ‚Der Spiegel‘ online