Migrants: Amnesty, EU govts accomplices of Libya torture

African immigrants arrive in Tripoli after being detained by the Libyan coastguard

The London-based human rights group also said that the Libyan coast guard "accepted kickbacks from smugglers to let migrant boats leave for Europe".

European governments are "complicit" in grave human rights violations in Libya through their support for authorities there that often work with human traffickers, and torture refugees and migrants, Amnesty International said on Tuesday.

Fayez al-Serraj, Prime Minister of Libya's Government of National Accord, last week said migrants' countries of origin, mostly in sub-Saharan Africa, and of European nations, where migrants hope to end up, needed to share responsibility for the migrant crisis.

It accused European governments of "actively supporting a sophisticated system of abuse and exploitation of refugees and migrants by the Libyan coastguard, detention authorities and smugglers in order to prevent people from crossing the Mediterranean".

Amnesty Europe director, John Dalhuisen said " by actively supporting the Libyan authorities in stopping sea crossings and containing people in Libya, they are complicit in these crimes".

Migrants are seen on a boat as they are being rescued by Libyan coast guards at the coast of Tripoli in Libya, December 8, 2017.

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The moves have trapped an estimated 20,000 migrants in Libya, where detention facilities are overcrowded and unsanitary, Amnesty International said.

The organization denounced that "videos, photos and documents controlled by Amnesty International indicate that the vessel "Ras Jadir", donated by Italy in April 2017", with "two ceremonies attended by Interior Minister Marco Minniti", was "used by Libyan coast guards in the disgusting incident in which 50 people drowned on November 6, 2017".

"European governments have shown where their true priorities lie: namely, the closure of the central Mediterranean route, with scant regard to the suffering caused", Dalhuisen said.

The Ras Jadir then failed to deploy its own inflatable boat to rescue migrants, allegedly forcing them to climb its high sides before many of them fell back into the water.

It also accused the Libyan coast guard of corruption and cooperation with human smugglers.

The German charity Sea Watch said at the time that five migrants including a young child died as the result of a "violent, reckless" and "illegal" intervention by Libya's coastguard in worldwide waters. Libya has descended into chaos since the NATO-backed ouster of longtime strongman Muammar Qaddafi in 2011, with competing governments in the east and west, backed by loyalist forces, unable to reach agreement to end the conflict.

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