144 rescued migrants taken to Libya despite dangers - U.N.

by Reuters
Tuesday, 22 January 2019 10:43 GMT

GENEVA, Jan 22 (Reuters) - More than 140 refugees and migrants rescued at sea by the 'Lady Sham' ship have landed in Misrata, Libya, and been taken to a detention centre, United Nations aid agencies said on Tuesday.

"In Libya's current context, where outbreaks of violence and widespread human rights violations prevail, no rescued refugees and migrants should be returned there," Charlie Yaxley, spokesman for the U.N. refugee agency UNHCR, told a briefing.

UNHCR denounced "politicking around sea rescues" by European states that have restricted aid groups from conducting missions. More than 200 have already drowned in January and 4,507 have reached Europe by sea despite "bitter cold and great danger", Yaxley said.

(Reporting by Stephanie Nebehay; Editing by Kevin Liffey)

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