HRW condemns Qasr bin Ghashir migrant shelter attack

Human Rights Watch (HRW) strongly condemned the armed attack against Qasr bin Ghashir migrant shelter April 23, saying that detained migrants in Tripoli are at risk due to the ongoing clashes.

In a Friday report, HRW said “the attack by armed men on asylum seekers and migrants in a detention center on April 23, highlights the growing risk to thousands of detainees during ongoing fighting in Tripoli.”

HRW noted that some migrant detention centers are located near militia bases, explaining that the Government of National Accord (GNA)-backed militia members “have allegedly forced some detained migrants to handle weapons, according to unconfirmed reports.”

The report of HRW also quoted Judith Sunderland, associate Europe and Central Asia director, as saying that “[t]housands of migrants and asylum seekers detained in appalling conditions now find themselves trapped near or on the front lines of conflict.”

Sunderland added that “any militia members who force them to handle weapons would compound their nightmare – and might be guilty of war crimes.”

On Tuesday, the GNA accused the Libyan National Army (LNA) of opening fire on a migrant shelter in Qasr bin Ghashir and injuring people inside.

The GNA spokesperson Muhannad Younis said Qasr bin Ghashir became a dangerous region due to the LNA military operations and clashes, which hinder the Red Crescent delivery of humanitarian aid to the area in Tripoli.

The incident is a “crime against humanity” as it violates international law, adding that the GNA will submit evidence and documents on the LNA’s “crimes” to international courts.

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