Teenage Sudanese refugee found hanging in Libya migrant centre: report

Teenage Sudanese refugee found hanging in Libya migrant centre: report
2 min read
24 June, 2022
A 19-year-old Sudanese refugee is believed to have taken his own life earlier this month while detained at one of Libya's notorious migrant centres.
Migrant detention centres in Libya are notorious as a result of the abuse and violence refugees face there [Getty]

A teenage Sudanese refugee was found hanging in one of Libya’s notorious migrant detention centres, according to reports on Thursday.

Mohamed Mahmoud Abdel Aziz, 19, is believed to have taken his own life at the Ain Zara detention centre south of the capital Tripoli on 5 June, according to Al Jazeera.

Abdel Aziz’s body was left hanging for hours on end in the room that he shared with hundreds of people, asylum seekers told the pan-Arab news outlet.

After some detained asylum seekers at the centre took photos of the teenager's body, Libyan authorities confiscated their phones to prevent the image from spreading online, other asylum seekers said.

Abdel Aziz came from western Sudan’s Darfur region, which has witnessed years of war that has killed tens of thousands of people.

He was detained in an overnight raid for peacefully protesting outside the UN refugee agency's Libya office to call for relocation and evacuation, before being released in May.

He was arrested again days later and taken back to the facility.

It is believed that he took his own life at the centre shortly after.

Migrants in Libya, most of whom attempt to cross the Mediterranean Sea to Europe, languish in detention centres, some of them run by militias, for months or even years at a time.

"Mohamed got tired of this until he reached this level and he [killed himself]," an asylum seeker said of Abdel Aziz's plight.

Aid groups such as Doctors Without Borders (MSF) say migrant centres in Libya are overcrowded and unsanitary, and lack food, water and medical care.

There have been many violent deaths in the centres.

Physical abuse including torture, rape and slavery is rife in detention camps across the North African country.

The UNHCR has said that approximately 2,772 people were being held in detention centres across Libya as of 22 May.