Libyan authorities on Tuesday forcibly disembarked more than 70 migrants who had refused to leave a cargo ship that rescued them before docking in a port west of Tripoli.
France24 reports that they were refusing to disembark for fear of “detention and torture”.
The group of at least 79 refugees and migrants, including several children, have been aboard the boat in the western Libyan port of Misrata for almost 10 days. The UN’s refugee agency, the UNHCR, said they hailed from Ethiopia, Eritrea, South Sudan, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Somalia.
The migrants were intercepted in the Mediterranean on their way to Europe and brought back to Libya by a Panama-flagged merchant vessel “in clear breach of international law”, according to rights group Amnesty International. Amnesty has urged European and Panama authorities to ensure the safety of those on board, stressing that Libya “cannot be considered a safe place to disembark”.