Millions of pounds of British aid is being spent to send migrants to “squalid” camps in Libya where they are regularly abused by guards, a watchdog has said.
Britain is currently sending £5 million of aid to Libya as part of a package designed to tackle the migrant crisis in the Mediterranean, with £4 million dedicated to detention centres among other initiatives.
However, The Times reports that the Independent Commission for Aid Impact has condemned conditions at those centres.
“All irregular migrants detained by the Libyan government — including those intercepted or rescued at sea within Libyan territorial waters — are held in detention centres, often indefinitely, where they face overcrowded conditions and are at risk of abuse and extortion,” they said.
They refer to a United Nations report that describes the camps as places of extortion, malnutrition, beatings, and overcrowding so severe that inmates are unable to lie down.
Breitbart London reported on the state of the country’s migrant centres last year, which were described as “squalid” and “brutal”.
Colonel Mohamed Bourgiba, head of the Gweea detention centre which holds hundreds of migrants, said: “The state is very weak and there is no money. Most of us here aren’t even getting paid.” He warned that if things do not improve “we will just stop working and open the floodgates. Because at the moment we are doing all of this for nothing.”
At the time, more than 35 people were packed into each cell at the Gweea camp, with scabies and hepatitis rampant. When one detainee tried to escape, local youths stabbed him after he scaled the fence before he was beaten by guards.
The accusations are just the latest in a long line of scandals involving British foreign aid.
Breitbart London reported last month that the number of fraud allegations involving the UK aid budget has quadrupled over the last five years, with the National Audit Office recording 429 fraud investigations in 2015/16, compared with 102 in 2010/11.