For Immediate Release

Organization Profile: 

Tel: +44 (0) 20 7413 5566
After hours: +44 7778 472 126

Italy Ready to Consign Refugees and Migrants to Horrific Abuse in Libyan Detention Centres

WASHINGTON - Responding to news that the Italian parliament has voted in favour of deploying warships in Libyan waters to support the Libyan coastguard in the interception and return of refugees and migrants to Libya, Amnesty International’s Deputy Europe Director Gauri Van Gulik said:

“The Italian authorities have shown today that they consider it more important to keep refugees and migrants away from their shores than to protect their lives and welfare. Facilitating the interception and return  of refugees and migrants to Libya results in their arbitrary detention in centres where they are at almost certain risk torture, rape and even of being killed, and today’s vote could make the Italian authorities complicit in these horrors.”

“Italy, along with other EU member states, should be focusing on increasing its search and rescue operations. Instead it has chosen to shirk its responsibilities and endanger the very people it says it is trying to help, including by providing military cover and support to the Libyan coastguard, whose reckless and abusive conduct against refugees and migrants during interceptions has been repeatedly documented, including by Amnesty International. Italy has also, with EU backing, put ties on the ability of NGOs to rescue people at sea, demonstrating just how misguided its whole approach is. 

“This is not the answer to the humanitarian crisis in the central Mediterranean – it is a recipe for more suffering. Any cooperation with the Libyan authorities should prioritize monitoring and accountability for any human rights violations they have committed. It should also be conditional on verifiable commitments by the Libyan authorities to improve conditions for refugees and migrants in Libya.”

This statement can be found online at

Follow Amnesty International USA and Amnesty International USA Media on Twitter.


This is the world we live in. This is the world we cover.

Because of people like you, another world is possible. There are many battles to be won, but we will battle them together—all of us. Common Dreams is not your normal news site. We don't survive on clicks. We don't want advertising dollars. We want the world to be a better place. But we can't do it alone. It doesn't work that way. We need you. If you can help today—because every gift of every size matters—please do. Without Your Support We Simply Don't Exist.

Please select a donation method:

Amnesty International is a worldwide movement of people who campaign for internationally recognized human rights for all. Our supporters are outraged by human rights abuses but inspired by hope for a better world - so we work to improve human rights through campaigning and international solidarity. We have more than 2.2 million members and subscribers in more than 150 countries and regions and we coordinate this support to act for justice on a wide range of issues.

Share This Article