Forty Five Rescued Egyptians Held in Notorious Libya Detention Centre

Forty Five Rescued Egyptians Held in Notorious Libya Detention Centre (News Central TV)

Libyan authorities are now holding, at least forty five Egyptian refugees after their boats capsized last week and 18 of the people on board drowned.

Two of the survivors managed to escape after being fined 5,000 Libyan dinars. Most of them who are mostly from Mansoura have been locked in five by eight metre cells in the city of Zawiya where they have confiscated their phones and cash.

A week after they were rescued at sea, 11 Egyptians drowned off the coast of Libya after their boat, which was bound for Italy, sank.

Families of the victims say they paid a smuggler in their home village Tilbana, which is also in Mansoura, 25,000 Egyptian pounds each to travel to Libya and a further 30,000 Egyptian pounds each to go on to Italy. The smuggler was later arrested by Egyptian security forces.

For years, rights groups and UN bodies have highlighted and documented evidence of abuse inside detention centres for refugees across Libya including beatings, sexual violence, extortion and forced labour.

Refugees placed in these centres are being forcibly returned to Libya if they fail to reach Europe across the Mediterranean.

Libya has become a gateway for refugees to pass through on their way to Europe as it is close to the Italian coast. Human traffickers and smugglers have taken advantage of the turmoil there following the 2011 military intervention in the North African state. Over the weekend 600 Egyptian and Moroccan refugees arrived on the Italian island of Lampedusa.

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