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Who controls Libya’s migrant detention centers? | DW Documentary
Who controls Libya’s migrant detention camps? This documentary exposes the connections between armed militias, people-smugglers and the authorities. It’s a system of exploitation that takes advantage of EU policies.
In Libya’s detention camps, thousands of people live in inhumane conditions as they wait for militias, the European Union and the United Nations to decide their fate. Officially, these camps are administered by the Libyan government, but in reality it’s the country’s militias that hold sway. They see refugees as a source of money: Migrants can be kidnapped and tortured, with militias then demanding ransom from relatives at home or abroad.
The documentary lays bare the human rights violations faced by migrants and political refugees in Libya. Journalist and filmmaker Sara Creta shows cell phone videos recorded by the victims themselves. These are important testimonies of everyday life in the camps, but also evidence of the spiraling violence to which the defenseless are exposed. During the civil war, many were forced to fight alongside militias, while some were even stuck in areas being bombed. These crimes are still being investigated. Meanwhile, Europe’s policies are increasingly geared toward sealing off external borders to hinder migration. The EU gives Libyan authorities millions in aid, trains its coast guard and provides it with vessels to prevent people-smuggling. This indirectly supports an inhumane system that encourages corruption and the self-enrichment of militias.
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