Libya – Detainees at Risk of Coronavirus Spread

Originally published by Human Rights Watch on 28/03/2020


Though as of March 28th, there had only been 3 confirmed COVID-19 cases in Libya, due to the ongoing armed conflict, the health care system is unprepared to handle a large number of patients.  According to Human Rights Watch, authorities on both sides of the conflict should take measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19 among the large population of detained people.  Authorities should consider releasing migrants and refugees detained because of their immigration status, children, low-level and non-violent offenders, and children and wives of suspected Islamic State fighters not accused of crimes.  In addition, alternative detention options should be considered for older people and people with pre-existing conditions. The UN mission in Libya has called for a pause in the conflict and the release of certain detainees and prisoners.  There are thousands of displaced people in Libya living in crowded and unsanitary conditions.  Authorities should make preparations to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in detention centers through social distancing and providing medical care and appropriate hygiene.

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