- Alarm Phone reported about 35 people in distress who escaped from Libya on 25 January 2023. Most likely, they have been intercepted and pulled back to Libya.
- On 24 January 2023, a boat capsized off Libyan coasts and 8 people died. The boat carried approximately 150 people: 84 survived and were taken back to Libya, while the others remain missing.
- EUBAM Libya together with the Spanish National Police is conducting a “specialized training on intelligence, particularly on how to gather, analyse & distribute intelligence and information”. This is particularly worrying due to the numerous reports of systematic violence used by Libyan border security bodies.
- In an internal document, the EU foreign service’s military committee said that the military operation Irini should keep operating in Libya and the Central Mediterranean until March 2025, due to continued instability in the country. The operation consists of two ships and seven aircraft whose task is to help enforce arms and oil embargo on Libya, but it also shared surveillance data on migration with Frontex.
- In the whole of 2022, 24,684 people were intercepted and returned to Libya. IOM reports that in the whole year, 525 people died and 848 went missing in the Central Mediterranean route, although the numbers likely is much higher due to the many invisible shipwrecks that take place along this route.
25/11/2022 – 13/12/2022
- In the end of November 2022, 200 people were deported on convoys from Libya. The group was composed of 105 Egyptians which were taken to the Salloum border post and 101 Chadians and 20 Sudanese who were taken to Koufra. In the same days, Refugees in Libya denounced that 522 people were intercepted at sea and brought back to Libya, including 240 minors. Most of them were Egyptians and Syrians.
- Human Rights Watch and Border Forensic published a joint investigation showing how Frontex uses aircraft and drones to enable interceptions by the Libyan forces in the Central Mediterranean.
05/10/2022 – 02/11/2022
- 64 people were intercepted by the Libyan Coast Guard and pulled back after they had fled from Khoms. Another group of approximately 90 people was pulled-back by Libyan authorities from the Maltese SAR zone.
- The so-called Libyan Coast Guard threatened to shoot at the Sea Watch airplane if it did not leave “Libyan territory”. However, the incident did not take place on Libyan territory, as the airplane was flying over the Maltese SAR zone.
- On 7 October 2022, 15 migrants died off the coast of Sabratha due to what seems to have been an armed confrontation between rival militias. Someone from the militias shot a flare at the migrants’ boat which caught fire and everyone on board died. However, the dynamics are not yet clear and caused some international reactions, including from the UN who asked for an investigation into the event.
- The OHCHR published the new report Nowhere but back: Assisted return, reintegration and the human rights protection of migrants in Libya highlighting the key gaps in human rights protection for migrants who are assisted to return from Libya to countries of origin.
- The World Organisation Against Torture (OMCT) published the report That was the last time I saw my brother: Extrajudicial and unlawful killings in Libya
21/09/2022 – 05/10/2022
- So far in 2022, 16,502 people were pulled back to Libya.
03/08/2022 – 21/09/2022
- 70 people are currently in distress at sea and their boat capsized off the coast of Sabratha.
- On 9 September 2022, the Libyan Coast Guard pulled back 109 people who were in distress in the Central Mediterranean, off the coast of Khoms.
- On 5 September 2022, Alarm Phone reported about a distress case of 21 people off the coasts of Libya. Authorities were informed but did not intervene. A merchant vessel later on found an empty fiberglass boat in the location. We don’t know if the people were pulled back, or if a shipwreck took place.
- In the end of August 2022, a shipwreck occurred off the coast of Libya. 6 people survived, 2 bodies were found and 19 people remain missing.
- In mid-August 2022, 20 bodies were found in the desert at the border between Libya and Sudan.
- A rare footage of the kidnapping of a young migrant circulated on social media in the beginning of September. The boy kidnapped is Mazen Adam, a 15-year-old refugee from Darfur who lives in Libya with his dad and brothers and is registered as a refugee with the UNHCR. Later his dad was kidnapped too. Events like this one are systematic in Libya, and the video shows once more the constant violence, threats and risks that migrants and refugees are exposed to in the country.
- On 1 August 2022, Human Rights Watch and Border Forensics denounced how Frontex aerial surveillance facilitates forced returns of migrants to abuses in Libya.
- On 30 July 2022, according to Libya Review, the UN Security Council has demanded to Libyan authorities to close migrant detention centres.
- On 28 July 2022, 255 people, including women and children, were intercepted at sea by the Stabilisation Support Authority (SSA) and brought to SSA detention centres. So far in 2022, 11,946 migrants have been intercepted at sea and forcibly returned back to Libya.
- On 25 July 2022, about 100 people were pushed back to Libya by the commercial ship Vos Triton. Sea Watch heard the radio conversation of Vos Triton: the ship had rescued about 100 people, and 4 bodies, and handed them over to a boat of the so-called Libya Coast Guard who brought them back to Libya.
- On 24 July 2022, Alarm Phone reported about 22 people in distress of the Libyan coast. Despite authorities being informed no on intervened, and finally the people were rescued by local fishermen.
- A new body has emerged recently in Libya under the name of Stabilisation Support Authority (SSA) and is active in sea interception and migrants’ detention. The body is composed of different militias, and it seems to be receiving EU support as the already infamous Libyan Coast Guard. This new body is particularly feared for the brutality and violence it systematically uses both at sea and in detention centres. Unlike other equally violent anti-migrant bodies, the SSA “reports directly to Libya’s Tripoli-based presidential council and is not subject to EU and U.N. scrutiny intended to prevent rights abuses”. The detention centre it runs is located close to the city of Maya and has hosted about 1,800 people. Allegedly, the SSA has also been involved in the coordination between Frontex and Libyan naval authorities for sea interceptions.
- On 17 July 2022, the first technical meeting of the Libyan-Italian Mixed Military Committee took place for defining the training programs for the Libyan Coast Guard.
07/06/2022 – 27/06/2022
- On 26 June 2022, Alarm Phone reported about 2 boats in distress off Libyan coasts, one with approximately 100 people on board. Both of them were later intercepted and pulled back to Libya.
- On 19 June 2022, Alarm Phone reported about a distress case of approximately 100 people in distress in the Central Mediterranean. Three Italian vessels were nearby but they did not intervene. After 16 hours from the first distress signal, the people were intercepted and pulled back by the Libyan Coast Guard.
- 12 people were pushed back from Libyan authorities on 12 June 2022 after they left from Libya, and they finished the fuel off Zuwara.
- On 10 June 2022, local authorities in the city of Kufra carried out a mass expulsion of people from Libya towards their countries of origin.
- Mohamed Mahmoud Abdulaziz committed suicide in the detention centre of Ain Zara. He was detained in the Al-Mabani centre after the October 2021 raids in Gargaresh, managed to escape and went to the UNHCR headquarters to ask for protection. He was then detained in Ain Zara following the January 2022 violent raids and evictions by Libya forces outside the UNHCR building.
- The IOM Libya denounced how there has been no progress in years concerning migration in the country. The IOM Head of mission denounced the systematic cycle of abuse migrants are subjected to in the country and the smuggling and trafficking rings are strong. He also denounced the blurred lines that exists between state institutions and armed groups.
- EuroMed Rights’ member Cairo Institute for Human Rights together with other 17 CSOs, signed a statement asking for the renewal of the UN Fact-Finding Mission (FFM) mandate on Libya in the occasion of the 50th session of the Human Rights Council.
For the period from June 2021 to May 2022, click here.