Letter to UNHCR on Libya

di lunedì, settembre 17, 2018 0 , , Permalink

L’eurodeputata Marie Christine Vergiat (GUE/NGL) ha indirizzato una lettera, cofirmata da Barbara Spinelli, a Filippo Grandi, Alto commissario delle Nazioni Unite per i rifugiati, e a Vincent Cochetel, Inviato speciale dell’UNHCR per la rotta del Mediterraneo Centrale:

Brussels, the 12th of September 2017

To Mr. Filippo Grandi, United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees

To Mr. Vincent Cochetel, UNHCR’s Special Envoy for the Central Mediterranean Situation

Over the past two weeks, the situation for refugees detained and stranded in Tripoli has deteriorated due to the escalating violent conflict. Several detention centers in Tripoli were on the frontlines of the conflict between militias. MSF reported that stray rockets have landed next to detention centres and the areas surrounding them have been under fire. Reports show an alarming situation whereby during some days people had no access to food nor water, having led some to die of starvation, while others have been kidnapped by traffickers. In a press release of 6th September, UNHCR said it has received reports “of unspeakable atrocities committed against refugees and asylum-seekers in the streets of Tripoli, including rape, kidnapping and torture”. A mother reported that her one-year old baby was also raped and tortured. UNHCR also reported that traffickers and smugglers have been impersonating UNHCR staff at different locations in Libya to be sold after to traffickers in Libya and subjected to abuse and torture.

Despite the announced ceasefire, the security situation is still of great concern as fighting continues. Transfer from one detention center to another one within the same conflict zone has proven to be of no solution. The supply of food and water has broken down and is only provided now on an ad-hoc basis. We heard reports that international organisations are reducing the size of their teams operating in Libya given the deteriorating security situation.

MSF who operates in Libya has called for an immediate release of all the migrants detained in Libya and an evacuation and expedite resettlement of refugees. UNHCR announced that a Gathering and Departure Facility has been set up and ready for use. We, the undersigned MEPs, also called on the European Commission and the Council last week to ensure an immediate evacuation to a safe place in the EU.

However, we have direct reports that many of the refugees being trapped in Tripoli who are from Eritrea, Somalia, Ethiopia and Darfur have asked to be registered by UNHCR for months now. This is notably the case of refugees held in Abu Salim detention center. Despite their request asked to UNHCR directly, UNHCR has not been registering them and restricted its activities in providing food, water, hygiene and blankets on an ad-hoc basis.

In light of this situation, we, the undersigned MEPs, are urgently calling UNHCR:

– To immediately register all refugees currently trapped in Libya of the seven nationalities that UNHCR is able to register in Libya ;

– To extend the list of nationalities UNHCR is able to register ;

– To proceed to an immediate evacuation to a safe place in the EU ;

– To expedite resettlement of refugees ;


Marie-Christine Vergiat (GUE/NGL)
Stefan Eck (GUE/NGL)
Barbara Spinelli (GUE/NGL)
Elly Schlein (S&D)
Malin Björk (GUE/NGL)
Marina Albiol Guzmán (GUE/NGL)
Cornelia Ernst (GUE/NGL)
Ana Gomes (S&D)
Sylvie Guillaume (S&D)
Christine Revault d’Allonnes Bonnefoy (S&D)
Barbara Lochbihler (Greens/EFA)
Miguel Urbán Crespo (GUE/NGL)
Ernest Urtasun (Greens/EFA)

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