"Over 150 migrants are being returned to Libya by the coast guard", the agency tweeted.
🚨 Breaking: Over 150 migrants are being returned to Libya by the coast guard.— IOM Libya (@IOM_Libya) January 9, 2020
While an IOM team on the ground is ready to provide assistance, we stress that Libya is not a safe port.
Migrants intercepted or rescued at sea should not be returned to an area of active conflict.
The migration agency said its team in Libya stood ready to assist the migrants but stressed that the North African country was not a safe port due to intensifying clashes on the ground.
The watchdog argues that migrants in Libya face arbitrary detention, abuse, and human rights violations.
The Mediterranean remained the main gateway to Europe for migrants from Africa, Central Asia, and the Middle East last year, with over 110,000 making it to the shore. More than 1,200 drowned.