Stop the Abuse of Migrants and Refugees

Map of Libya

Target: Interim chairman of Libya’s parliament Nuri Abusahmain

Goal: Demand an end the abuse and torture of migrants and refugees at Libyan detention centers

According to a report released by Human Rights Watch, migrants and refugees held in Libyan detention facilities are being subjected to abuse and torture. Guards are accused of electrocuting, whipping and beating detainees for no apparent reason. This inhumane treatment needs to stop, as the detention center guards are clearly violating human rights.

It’s believed that up to 6,000 refugees are held in detention centers across Libya. These facilities are crowded and unsanitary, promoting disease and fear among those confined there. Many of these migrants and refugees have been detained by officials for crossing the Mediterranean to reach Europe, or for illegally entering the country. It’s estimated that there are 3 million undocumented migrants in the country, most of them from Somalia, Sudan and Eritrea.

In an attempt to get Libya to comply with international law Human Rights Watch is recommending that the European Union and Italy withhold financial assistance until the country can address the abuse. People interviewed by Human Rights Watch spoke of male guards strip-searching women and girls while beating men and boys. Guards reportedly beat their victims with iron rods, sticks and rifle butts. Cables, hose pipes and rubber tubes were used for whipping. Other victims were burned with cigarette butts, kicked and punched and electrocuted with tasers, and five detainees were hung upside down from trees.

Libya should not be treating any human beings in this manner. While many detainees tried to leave or enter the country illegally, these crimes do not warrant the use of torture. Demand an end to Libyan detention facilities’ use of violence against immigrants and refugees.


Dear Chairman Abusahmain,

I am writing to demand an end to the abuse and torture of detainees in your country’s immigrant detention centers. While I realize many of these detainees were caught illegally entering or leaving the country, they should not be abused. They should be treated with dignity and respect. Guards have no right to hurt these people, and detainees should not be kept in such crowded and unsanitary facilities.

I support the EU and Italy withholding financial support until this human rights crisis is resolved. It is inhumane and unethical to treat human beings in this manner for whatever reason, and all the more so since they have not committed violent crimes. I urge you to improve conditions at detention facilities, to end the rampant abuse there and punish the guards responsible.


[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: Darwinek via Wikimedia Commons

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