Men, women and children held at DCIM centres recounted beatings at the hands of the guards. “They beat us every day, they use electric sticks, just because we ask for food or [medical] treatment or for information about what will happen to us,” a migrant from Cameroon told monitors.
Women recounted rape and other sexual violence at the hands of smugglers and guards. A woman from Cote d’Ivoire told UN staff that during her journey: “Armed men came in and chose six women, including me, and took us out one by one. When I first refused, I was slapped and a gun was pointed at my head. Four men raped me outside. I was in early stages of pregnancy, I bled profusely, and I think I lost the baby. I haven’t seen a doctor yet.”
In another case, a Sub-Saharan African woman said, “I was taken away from the DCIM centre and raped in a house by three men including a DCIM guard.
The UN Human Rights Office urges the Libyan authorities to take concrete steps to stamp out human rights violations and abuses in centres under their control, to remove those reasonably suspected of carrying out violations, to investigate and prosecute those responsible, and publicly signal that such abuses will no longer be tolerated. It also calls for migrants not to be detained and that all centres be open.
“We cannot be a silent witness to modern day slavery, rape and other sexual violence, and unlawful killings in the name of managing migration and preventing desperate and traumatized people from reaching Europe’s shores,” said Zeid.