Migrants suffered torture and trauma in Libya: MSF

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Migrants suffered torture and trauma in Libya, a Doctors Without Border team member said while travelling with a group rescued 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.

Salerno spoke on board the Aquarius rescue ship run by humanitarian groups SOS Mediterranee and Doctors Without Borders and heading for Italy.

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.

Libya’s western shores are the main departure point 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 last year after officials working for the UN-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.