UNHCR denounces a beating attack against its employees outside its headquarters in Libya

The United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR) denounced an attack on several of its employees and security personnel at its headquarters in the Libyan capital Tripoli, which has been the scene of refugee concentrations for days.

The incident occurred at around 9:30 am on Sunday when, according to the agency, “a small group of violent demonstrators” tried to prevent refugees and asylum seekers from entering their registration center in the capital. The agency identified this group as “demanding the immediate evacuation of Libya”.

“While UNHCR staff tried to negotiate with them to let the refugees through, two of our staff and a security guard who was hospitalized with arm injuries were beaten,” the agency said in a statement.

UNHCR denounces a beating attack against its employees outside its headquarters in Libya
UNHCR denounces a beating attack against its employees outside its headquarters in Libya

UNHCR condemns these protesters trying to prevent access to the center since November 3rd and calls for safe access to asylum seekers and refugees trying to get help.

On the contrary, the NGO Mediterranea Saving Humans affirmed in its Twitter account that the concentrates were demonstrating peacefully in front of the UNHCR headquarters and were actually attacked by the security forces guarding the headquarters.

According to the NGO, these gatherings of refugees in front of the UNHCR headquarters have been taking place since the beginning of October 2021, when they became mass raids and arrests in Tripoli.

Ultimately, the incident forced the closure of the main entrance to the facility, which is currently home to UNHCR staff and a hundred refugees.

“We are very concerned that any interruptions to our work at this registration center will affect our ability to process evacuation requests on humanitarian flights from Libya,” the organization added.

The agency has repeatedly denounced the poor living conditions in Libyan reception camps for migrants and called for evacuation flights to be accelerated either to their countries of origin or to third countries.

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