More than 200 migrants walked out of a government-run detention centre in Libya’s capital, Tripoli, on Monday, after complaining that some of them were forced to drink water from toilets, and sick people were not receiving adequate medical treatment.
Two Eritrean migrants, Yowhannes Gobezay and Teklebirhan Teklu, told the BBC that they had been at the detention centre for nearly a year and had seen some of their friends go hungry for days and get infected with diseases.
“For the past weeks, due to a lack of clean water, we were drinking water from the toilets,’’ said Yowhannes.
‘’We walked for three hours carrying the sick people from the detention centre to the [UNHCR’s] Gathering & Departure facility in Tripoli looking for help.’’
They said they had not been given sufficient food and water over the last year.
The UNHCR in Libya has confirmed the arrival of the migrants at its facility in Tripoli.
The Abu Salim detention centre is located in southern Tripoli and is believed to have housed around 800 migrants.
In July the UNHCR had called for the dismantling of all detention centres for migrants in Libya, saying they were not fit to house them. It called the facilities in the centres “awful”.