Refugees shot dead in Tripoli forced out of UN facility

KHARTOUM, SUDAN (AP) — Two Eritrean asylum-seekers were shot dead in the Libyan capital, Tripoli, days after the United Nations (UN) refugee agency pressed them to leave its facility citing overcrowding.

Three refugees told The Associated Press that the men were among dozens forced out of the UNHCR-run Gathering and Departure Facility.

The three spoke on condition of anonymity for fear of retribution. The facility was promoted as an “alternative to detention” but when the numbers of refugees increased, the UN offered money and pressed new arrivals to leave.

The slain refugees were among those who accepted the money and left. They were among thousands held in Libya’s detention centres where abuses are rampant.

The country is a major waypoint for migrants fleeing war and poverty in Africa and the Middle East to Europe.