HRW: Europe should help end cycle of detention, violence in Libya

Segen, a 22-year-old Eritrean, stares into the camera before disembarking in Pozzallo, Sicily, from the Pro Activa Open Arms rescue ship on March 13, 2018. He died several hours later. © Kepa Fuentes
A young Eritrean man died on Tuesday in Sicily of tuberculosis compounded by severe malnutrition. His name was Segen. He was 22, reported Human Rights Watch (HRW).
 
HRW said that Segen was rescued from the Mediterranean on Sunday by Pro Activa Open Arms, a Spanish group, and disembarked in Sicily on Monday. He died in the hospital. He told rescuers he was held captive in Libya for 19 months.
 
“If Segen had survived, there’s a good chance he would have been granted the right to stay in Europe; most Eritreans are because of serious repression, including indefinite military conscription, in Eritrea.” HRW explained.
 
It added that despite Segen and others’ cases, European governments are empowering Libyan authorities to stop migrant boat departures and intercept – including in international waters – ones that do launch.
 
All of those on board are then indefinitely detained in Libya, HRW indicated.
 
“European governments are failing to resettle people the United Nations refugee agency, UNHCR, evacuates from Libya to Niger. Just over 1,000 people have been taken to Niger, but only 55 have been resettled to Europe, leading Niger to ask UNHCR to temporarily suspend the program.” HRW further explained.
 
 
 
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