OHCHR / MIGRANTS LIBYA

12-Oct-2021 00:03:14
The UN human rights office (OHCHR) said it was “extremely worried about the continued suffering of migrants and asylum seekers in Libya who are experiencing a myriad of daily violations and abuses at the hands of both State and non-state actors,” according to a spokesperson. UNTV CH
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STORY: OHCHR / MIGRANTS LIBYA
TRT: 3:14
SOURCE: UNTV CH
RESTRICTIONS: NONE
LANGUAGE: ENGLISH / NATS

DATELINE: 12 OCTOBER 2021 GENEVA, SWITZERLAND
SHOTLIST
12 OCTOBER 2021 GENEVA, SWITZERLAND

1. Wide shot, Palais des Nations exterior
2. SOUNDBITE (English) Marta Hurtado, spokesperson, Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR):
“We are extremely worried about the continued suffering of migrants and asylum seekers in Libya who are experiencing a myriad of daily violations and abuses at the hands of both State and non-state actors.”
3. Wide shot, briefing room
4. SOUNDBITE (English) Marta Hurtado, spokesperson, Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR):
“Recently, there has been a perceptible increase in heavy-handed security operations and raids targeting migrants and asylum seekers. These have resulted in killings and serious injuries, a rise in detentions in appalling conditions, as well as expulsions of individuals to countries in sub-Saharan Africa without due process and in violation of the principle of non-refoulement and the prohibition of collective expulsion.”
5. Wide shot, briefing room
6. SOUNDBITE (English) Marta Hurtado, spokesperson, Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR):
“Women, children and men were arrested and handcuffed. Security forces used unnecessary and disproportionate force to detain them, including shooting and beating those who resisted or tried to escape. As a result, at least one person died, five were injured, and more than 4,000 were detained.”
7. Wide shot, TV screen foreground in briefing room
8. SOUNDBITE (English) Marta Hurtado, spokesperson, Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR):
“On 2 October, hundreds of migrants were transferred from al-Mabani to Gheriyan detention centre where they are held in unsanitary conditions with very little access to food or water. On 6 October, 500 migrants managed to escape from the Gheriyan centre and were chased by guards who opened fire using live ammunition. According to preliminary information, at least four individuals were shot dead, and many others injured.”
9. Wide shot, videographer and participants in briefing room
10. SOUNDBITE (English) Marta Hurtado, spokesperson, Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR):
“This series of horrific events over a period of eight days is just the latest example of the precarious, sometimes lethal, situation facing migrants and asylum seekers in Libya. They are criminalized solely for their migration status; are routinely detained in abhorrent conditions; are frequently subjected to extortion and abuse and in some cases killed.”
11. Wide shot, participants in briefing room
12. SOUNDBITE (English) Marta Hurtado, spokesperson, Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR):
“We note that the recent report by the Independent Fact-Finding Mission on Libya concluded that the widespread and systematic violations suffered by migrants in the country could amount to crimes against humanity.”
13. Wide shot, Participants and TV screen in briefing room
14. SOUNDBITE (English) Marta Hurtado, spokesperson, Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR):
“We acknowledge the Government’s promise to free some of the migrants held in al-Mabani detention centre, but recall that they should not have been detained in the first place. We remind the authorities they have an obligation to protect everyone on their territory, including migrants and asylum seekers.”
15. Med shot, videographer
16. SOUNDBITE (English) Marta Hurtado, spokesperson, Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR):
“We call on the authorities to establish prompt, thorough, impartial and independent investigations into the claims of unnecessary and disproportionate use of force including the allegations of killings by the security forces and affiliated armed groups, with a view to hold those responsible accountable. Victims have the right to justice and reparations.”
17. Med shot, Participants hands and spokesperson
STORYLINE
The UN human rights office (OHCHR) said it was “extremely worried about the continued suffering of migrants and asylum seekers in Libya who are experiencing a myriad of daily violations and abuses at the hands of both State and non-state actors,” according to a spokesperson.

Addressing reporters in Geneva today (12 Oct), OHCHR spokesperson Marta Hurtado said there have been a “perceptible increase in heavy-handed” security operations and raids targeting migrants and asylum seekers in the country. These have resulted in killings and serious injuries, a rise in detentions in appalling conditions, as well as expulsions of individuals to countries in sub-Saharan Africa without due process and “in violation of the principle of non-refoulement and the prohibition of collective expulsion.”

OHCHR noted a series of major incidents, beginning on 1 October, when Ministry of Interior personnel raided an informal settlement in Gergaresh - about 12 kilometers west from the capital, Tripoli- where hundreds of migrants and asylum-seekers live, including people registered with the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) who were awaiting completion of their resettlement procedures.

Hurtado said, “Women, children and men were arrested and handcuffed. Security forces used unnecessary and disproportionate force to detain them, including shooting and beating those who resisted or tried to escape. As a result, at least one person died, five were injured, and more than 4,000 were detained.”

All those arrested were taken to the al-Mabani Government-run detention centre, also in Tripoli, and kept in extremely overcrowded cells with little access to food or water.

Hurtado said, “On 2 October, hundreds of migrants were transferred from al-Mabani to Gheriyan detention centre where they are held in unsanitary conditions with very little access to food or water. On 6 October, 500 migrants managed to escape from the Gheriyan centre and were chased by guards who opened fire using live ammunition. According to preliminary information, at least four individuals were shot dead, and many others injured.”

Two days later, on 8 October, another mass escape took place from the al-Mabani centre. Once again, migrants were chased by security officers who shot at them, injuring and killing an unknown number. Many others were recaptured by armed groups affiliated with Government security agencies and taken to both official and unofficial detention centres.

The OHCHR spokesperson said, “This series of horrific events over a period of eight days is just the latest example of the precarious, sometimes lethal, situation facing migrants and asylum seekers in Libya. They are criminalized solely for their migration status; are routinely detained in abhorrent conditions; are frequently subjected to extortion and abuse and in some cases killed.”

Hurtado noted that the recent report by the Independent Fact-Finding Mission on Libya concluded that the “widespread and systematic violations suffered by migrants in the country could amount to crimes against humanity.”

Hurtado also acknowledged the Government’s promise to free some of the migrants held in al-Mabani detention centre, but recalled that “they should not have been detained in the first place.” She reminded the authorities they have an obligation to protect “everyone on their territory, including migrants and asylum seekers.”

OHCHR called on the authorities to establish “prompt, thorough, impartial and independent investigations into the claims of unnecessary and disproportionate use of force including the allegations of killings by the security forces and affiliated armed groups, with a view to hold those responsible accountable,” Hurtado said, adding that “victims have the right to justice and reparations.”

The UN human rights office also called on the Libyan authorities to release all arbitrarily detained migrants and asylum seekers, cease the raids on their settlements and halt evicting them, as well as stop criminalizing them. OHCHR encouraged authorities to reform the legislation to decriminalize irregular entry, stay and exit of people.

OHCHR called on the the authorities to cease forced expulsions and deportations of migrants that do not comply with due process rights and are in violation of the principle of non-refoulement and prohibition of collective expulsion.

In addition, UN human rights office reminded the Government that they should assist all families who are separated, and, as a matter of urgency, accommodate migrants and asylum seekers in proper and safe conditions, ensuring access to adequate health care, food, water and sanitation. The office added that UN agencies and NGOs should also have access to detention centres.
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