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    Tens of Thousands of Refugees Across Libya Facing 'Horrific' Abuses - UN Report

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    MOSCOW (Sputnik) - Tens of thousands of migrants and refugees are exposed to "horrific" abuses by smugglers, armed groups and state officials on their journey across Libya, a UN report out Thursday warned.

    "Tackling impunity would not only end the suffering of tens of thousands of migrant and refugee women, men and children seeking a better life, but also undercut the parallel illicit economy built on the abuse and exploitation of migrants and refugees," it said.

    The investigation by the UN human rights office covers a 20-month period up to August 2018 and is based on 1,300 first-hand accounts gathered by UN staff.

    It said migrants were subject to "unimaginable horrors" from the moment they entered Libya through their stay and attempts to cross the Mediterranean Sea to Europe. They included killings, torture, arbitrary detention, gang rape, slavery, forced labor and extortion.

    READ MORE: US Commander Predicts US Mission Return to Libya 6 Years After Benghazi Attack

    The UN High Commissioner for Refugees had registered 53,285 refugees and asylum seekers in the country as of September 2018, but their actual number is believed to be much higher, with 4,000 to 7,000 people being held at detention centers at any given time.

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    refugees, crisis, UN, Libya
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