Photo: An MSF physiotherapist works in one of Misrata’s detention centers, where MSF is suspending operations. Libya 2011 © MSF
MSF teams began working in Misrata’s detention centers in August, 2011, to treat war-wounded detainees. Since then, MSF doctors had been increasingly confronted with patients who suffered injuries caused by torture during interrogation sessions. The interrogations were held outside the detention centers. In total, MSF treated 115 people who had torture-related wounds.
The organization reported all the cases to the relevant authorities in Misrata. Since January, several of the patients returned to interrogation centers were again tortured. MSF medical teams were also asked to treat patients inside the interrogation centers, which the organization categorically refused.
The most alarming case occurred on January 3, when MSF doctors treated a group of 14 detainees who returned to a detention facility from an interrogation center. Despite previous MSF demands for the immediate end of torture, 9 of the 14 detainees had suffered numerous injuries and displayed obvious signs of torture.
The MSF team informed the National Army Security Service—the agency responsible for interrogations—that a number of patients needed to be transferred to hospitals for urgent and specialized care. All but one of the detainees were again deprived of essential medical care and were subjected to renewed interrogations and torture outside the detention centers.
Libya: Detainees Tortured and Denied Medical Care