"Other countries should suspend forcible returns of civilians to any location in Libya until the security and human rights situation has improved sufficiently to allow for a safe and dignified return," Bill Frelick, refuge program director at HRW, said Friday. "All countries should allow civilians fleeing Libya, including third country nationals who have been living there, access to their territories," he added.
According to HRW, due to the current rise in violence and human rights abuses, the forcible return of refugees to Libya could expose them to serious risks. The organization stressed that since all international organizations and most foreign diplomatic missions withdrew from Libya at the onset of armed conflict in Tripoli in July, there currently is not enough information on the real situation in the country to guarantee survival and safe passage.
Libya is currently facing its worst violence since the 2011 overthrow of Muammar Gaddafi. The country has seen violent clashes between numerous militias, some armed with weapons seized from Gaddafi government ammunition depots. According to data on the Libya Body Count website, more than 2,500 people have been killed in the country in 2014.
Earlier this week US Army Gen. David Rodriguez told reporters that Islamic State militants are building terror training camps in eastern Libya.