Migrants at the Sikka detention center, Tripoli.ANSA/ARCHIVE/ZUHAIR ABUSREWIL
Migrants at the Sikka detention center, Tripoli.ANSA/ARCHIVE/ZUHAIR ABUSREWIL

The UN agency for migration IOM has reported that up to 10,000 migrants are detained in dire conditions in Libya.

Over 10,000 migrants who were rescued or apprehended by Libyan coast guards are detained in 20 centers in extreme living conditions due to overcrowding and a heat wave with temperatures reaching over 40 degrees Celsius, Christine Petré, IOM's spokeswoman for Libya, told ANSA. 

'Overcrowding at centers' 

The spokeswoman said ''the latest official number published about a month ago by the government was 7,000''. She did not elaborate on how many could be currently detained. However, she added, ''considering we have registered a high number of migrants'' taken back to land, ''we are probably talking about 3,000'' additional migrants over the last two weeks, she said. 

Answering a question on living conditions at detention centers, she said that, ''naturally, this will bring to an increase of migrants and centers will become overcrowded''. 

20 centers currently operational 

Petré said ''20 detention centers are operational'' after ''Libyan authorities closed several recently''. Previous reports spoke about 34-35 centers or up to 42. ''The majority of these centers are in the capital, Tripoli'', she added. ''Migrants are mainly taken to some five detention centers'' that will become ''excessively overcrowded'', she said. 

''When extremely limited space is overcrowded, this impacts living conditions'' that ''are not very good to begin with: you can imagine now that there is a heat wave in Tripoli with temperatures of 35-40 degrees''. ''All these factors will have a negative impact on living conditions and this worries us a lot'', said the spokeswoman for the UN agency for migrants.

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