Refugees temporarily staying in Libya are guests, and Libya does not harm its guests, the Presidential Council (PC) has said as it demanded an inquiry into alleged violations against migrants in a government-run detention centre in Tripoli.
"It is necessary to disclose to internal and external public opinion the information, backgrounds, and facts of what happened recently in an immigrants detention shelter in Libya so that no misunderstanding or misinformation occurs," the spokeswoman for the PC Najwa Wahiba has said.
On Tuesday, the UN human rights spokesperson Marta Hurtado told a UN briefing in Geneva that Some 500 migrants managed to escape from the Gheriyan detention centre in Tripoli on October six and "were chased by guards who opened fire using live ammunition," killing at least four and wounding others.
The PC spokeswoman called on the European countries to assume their moral and legal responsibilities towards illegal immigrants and not forcibly return them to Libya.
"Some illegal immigrants are pending voluntary return to their countries in coordination with the concerned authorities or resettlement in the host countries through the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, "and those are considered guests. Libya does not harm its guests," Wahiba added.
She indicated that the PC is working to curb illegal immigration, and priority would be given to strengthen and support border guards in the desert south of the country, not at sea.
According to Wahiba, the PC's vision also includes creating development hubs in southern Libya as a transit country and in the countries of origin for migrants.
Since the 2011 uprising that toppled and killed long-time dictator Muammar Gaddafi, Libya has emerged as the dominant transit point for people pushed by war and pulled by a dream of a better life in Europe.
In a recent statement, the Government of National Unity admitted that it is "dealing with a complex issue in the illegal migration file, as it represents a human tragedy in addition to the social, political and legal consequences locally and internationally."
Meanwhile, Libya's Coast Gaurd said Tuesday that their forces brought 140 survivors and the bodies of 15 men back to a naval base in the capital Tripoli the day before.
In two separate statements, the navy said another 165 migrants had been intercepted and brought back to shore on the same day.