More than 400 illegal immigrants sent back to Libya: IOM
Publish- March 16, 2020, 11:24 AM
Xinhua/UNB - Xinhua/UNB
The International Organization for Migration (IOM) said on Sunday that more than 400 illegal immigrants were sent back to Libya after being taken by Libyan coast guards over the past 24 hours.
"This morning, 105 migrants were returned to Libya by the coast guard," IOM tweeted.
"Over the past 24 hours, five boats carrying 406 people fleeing violence and dire conditions have been taken back to Libya. Most of them ended up in detention, where there are serious concerns over their safety," IOM said.
On Saturday, IOM reiterated that migrants rescued or intercepted at sea should not be returned to Libya due to poor security conditions.
Libya has become a preferred point of departure for thousands of illegal immigrants, mostly Africans, wanting to cross the Mediterranean Sea to reach European shores.
According to IOM, more than 110,000 illegal immigrants made their way to Europe through the Mediterranean in 2019, while 1,283 died on the way.
Immigrant shelters in Libya are crowded with thousands of immigrants either rescued from the sea or arrested by the Libyan security forces, despite international calls for closing those centers.