Refugees in Libya ‘tortured’ for breaking out of detention centre

Nearly 150 detainees broke out of their cell in Tripoli’s Triq al Sikka earlier this week to protest against abuse.

by Sally Hayden

As many as 30 refugees and migrants, including minors, are believed to have been brought to an underground cell and allegedly tortured in Libya for breaking out and holding a protest earlier this week.

An estimated 150 male detainees escaped on Tuesday from the main cell in Tripoli’s Triq al Sikka detention centre, where some of them have been held for more than a year, to lodge their protest with Libya’s Department of Combatting Illegal Migration (DCIM).

They protested against the conditions under which they have been detained, and demanded a visit from an official from the United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR), according to witnesses.

The majority of those detained in the past 18 months were returned to Libya by the European Union-funded Libyan coastguard after they tried to cross the Mediterranean Sea to reach Europe.