The medical aid group Doctors Without Borders, or MSF, on Thursday accused the European Union and national governments of funding the criminal abuse of migrants in detention centers in Libya.
Libya's EU-sponsored coast guard is picking up migrants trying to flee to Europe across the Mediterranean Sea and sending them back to Libya's detention system, which is "a thriving enterprise of kidnapping, torture and extortion," MSF International President Joanne Liu said in an open letter to EU governments
"European governments have chosen to contain people in this situation. People cannot be sent back to Libya, nor should they be contained there," she wrote.
The EU's executive Commission denied it was turning a blind eye to the treatment of migrants in Libya and said that its priority is in fact to end the "vicious cycle" that sees people brought to the conflict-torn country by smugglers and then trapped in camps or detention centers.
Liu rejected praise for European policies credited with having cut the number of migrants leaving Libya for Europe and drownings in the Mediterranean.