In the past 10 days, it has been estimated that more than 180,000 people have fled Libya and are seeking refugee in neighboring countries. Yet many thousands remain stuck at borders, especially the one between Tunisia and Libya, in freezing conditions.
Prior to the crisis, Libya was home to more than a million asylum-seeking refugees from sub-Saharan Africa. Many of these refugees are now seeking asylum in Tunisia, however, Amnesty International is concerned that these migrants in Libya are now being turned back at the Tunisian border. Additionally, many foreign workers are seeking to return back to their country of origin but remained trapped at land border crossings or on the coast, desperately hoping for ships to rescue them.
Thankfully, the UNHCR office in Tripoli has set up a hotline that refugees trapped in Libya can call for assistance. The number is: +218.214.777.503. Please contact this number if you or someone you know is seeking asylum from the violence in Libya.
Amnesty International is urging the international community to offer critical support to assist those fleeing the violence and chaos – and not refuse entry to those seeking to flee the chaos in Libya. Under international law, all of Libya’s neighboring states must keep their borders open and provide assistance to all those fleeing violence.
Amnesty International continues to monitor the human rights situation in the Middle East closely. Please check our website regularly for updates and for actions that you can take to help ensure respect for human rights. Click here to take action now.