Today marks three months since the horrific attack on the Tajoura detention centre in Tripoli which killed 53 and injured 130 detained migrants and refugees. On behalf of the Post-Tajoura Working Group, we issue this statement in memory of the victims, and use the occasion to remind the Libyan government of the urgency of the situation of detained refugees and migrants in and around Tripoli.
The Post-Tajoura Working Group has been created by the international community in response to the strike on the Tajoura Detention Centre and its aim is to establish more robust and joint engagement with the Libyan authorities regarding the management of migration in Libya in order to avoid further deaths and suffering. The Group is composed of the European Union, African Union, UNHCR, IOM, OHCHR, UNICEF and major donor countries engaged in the migration situation in Libya (France, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, and United Kingdom).
While we welcome the decision of the Minister of Interior Bashagha to close the migrant detention centres in Tajoura, Al-Khoms and Misrata on 1 August, and appreciate the ongoing exchanges with the Minister on alternatives to detention, the situation of migrants and refugees in these and other detention centers continues to deteriorate. We therefore call on the Libyan government to implement the said decision in a way that ensures that migrants are protected and their human rights fully respected.
The release of migrants and refugees from these centres should be a first step towards a gradual replacement of the current detention system with more sustainable alternatives which will be of benefit to Libya. We stand ready to provide our full support in providing a response to the situation of these refugees and migrants through the IOM and UNHCR urban programmes and to work further with the authorities towards arriving at suitable alternatives to detention.