Doctors Without Borders team says migrants were traumatised and tortured in Libya. The team was travelling with group of rescuers in the Mediterranean Sea.

Luca Salerno, a Project Coordinator with Doctors Without Borders (MSF), said the migrants were very weak and malnourished because of the conditions in Libyan detention centres.

Over 300 migrants were travelling on the Aquarius.

They were rescued off the Libyan coast by humanitarian ships and the Italian navy in the previous days.

The group included migrants from Africa, the Middle East and Asia.

Salernos says, “The general conditions … a lot of people are very weak, very dizzy because they are malnourished, because of the conditions of the detention centres in Libya. A lot of them have scabies and some of them report of wounds and trauma of the tortures that they received in Libya. Especially, we have another little girl – only 10 years old – she told us her story. She has extensive burns on her legs because of boiling water that was poured on her legs in a tentative (attempt) of sexual violence.”

Libya’s western shores are the main departure points for migrants mainly from sub-Saharan countries fleeing poverty and conflict trying to reach Europe.

Arrivals to Italy have fallen by two-thirds since July from the same period in 2016 after officials working for the United Nations-backed government in Tripoli, Italy’s partner, managed to cut back human smuggling in the city of Sabratha, west of the capital.

That has pushed the trade further east, with the coast guard intercepting several boats off the coast near Qaraboulli and Zliten, two towns located east of Tripoli.

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