UN report documents sexual violence, exploitation at Mitiga prison and other immigration detention centers in Libya

Alwasat Staff Mon 17 Aug 2020, 12:20 AM
alwasat radio

A United Nations report showed an increase in sexual violence in most of the armed conflicts, including Libya, as the report announced the documentation of cases of rape at Mitiga prison and the recording of other types of violence against migrants in Zawiya, Tajoura and Gharyan detention centers.

This came in the eleventh report of the United Nations Secretary-General on the subject of sexual violence used as a tactic of war or as a weapon used by terrorist networks in 19 countries, including Libya, between January and December 2019. The report, published by the United Nations this month, is based on documented cases.

The report says that the United Nations Mission in Libya "was able to verify only seven cases of sexual violence, affecting four women, two girls and a man." It added, "women detained in the controversial Mitiga detention center have no opportunity to challenge the legality of their detention." This center is under the control of the Special Deterrence Force, which falls under the responsibility of the Ministry of Interior of the Government of National Accord. ”

According to the text of the report, "one of the shocking violations was the rape of four prisoners and forcing them to show themselves naked, while a human rights activist was the victim of rape by the deterrence force guards."

The United Nations mission also mentioned “patterns of sexual violence, exploitation, extortion and smuggling of migrants from the detention centers in Zawiya, Tajoura, Gharyan and Al-Khoms, which are operated by authorities responsible for combating illegal migration.” 

The report concluded that "sexual violence increased in most armed conflicts," stressing that this type of violence "has a direct impact on the mass displacement of populations, and the rise of extremism, inequality and discrimination between men and women." Moreover, according to the United Nations, "sexual violence is particularly prevalent in detention, family and migration contexts."

By the end of 2019, more than 79 million people were displaced around the world. This means that approximately 1% of the world's population has been forced to leave their homes due to conflict or persecution. In the past year, the number of displaced people has increased, as has the level of sexual violence occurring in sites hosting displaced people.

The report covers 19 countries of concern after documenting 3,000 cases of conflict-related sexual violence, committed over a period of one year, and verified by the United Nations. Most of the victims are women and girls (89%), but the hundreds of verified cases also affect men and boys, according to the same report.

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