United Nations-commissioned investigators on Wednesday painted a grim picture for migrants in Libya, just days after they said they were seeking to verify the presence of mass graves at a human trafficking centre in the country's northwest.
Chief investigator Mohamed Auajjar said the group documented "consistent patterns of serious human rights violations" against migrants in government-run detention centres and trafficking hubs.
Libya has in recent years emerged as a popular, if extremely dangerous, route toward Europe for those fleeing poverty and conflict in Africa and the Middle East.
The announcement came as the German government agreed to extend its participation in the European Union naval mission Operation Irini, aimed at enforcing the U.N. arms embargo on Libya. A confidential report by the head of Operation Irini, obtained earlier this year by The Associated Press, acknowledged "excessive use of force" by Libyan authorities but called for the training program to continue. Operation Irini itself has been criticized for not doing enough to save migrants at sea, despite conducting extensive monitoring in the area including with German maritime surveillance aircraft. Without elaborating, Sasse said Berlin had information that in at least two cases, the Libyan coast gurard had acted in a "completely unacceptable and illegal manner." Humanitarian groups have long complained the migrants returned to Libya are sent to detention centers, where they face extortion, torture, and trafficking.