Cedar Centre For Legal Studies

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Migrants from Lebanon abducted in Libya



On August 10, 2023, two boats, each carrying 110 migrants, departed Lebanon’s northern shore in Akkar, attempting to irregular sea journey across the Mediterranean toward Italy. The Lebanese Army thwarted one of the boats, while the other one managed to cross into regional waters. Among the 110 migrants are 37 children, 14 women and 59 men, around 90 percent of whom are Syrians.

Upon reaching Malta’s Search and Rescue (SAR) area, on Aug. 18 at 3 p.m. Beirut time, the migrants reported to an International NGO “Alarm Phone” that a ship displaying a Libyan flag was pursuing them, and armed individuals were firing at their vessel, resulting in an injury to one person on board and failure in one of the boat’s engines.

Members of Libyan militant group Tarek Bin Zeyad Brigade (TBZ) first took all 110 migrants into Misrata, a city in northwestern Libya, based on testimonies provided to our center by the detained’ family members.

They were then transferred to a Benghazi detention center, which is close to the port, where they reportedly remain detained in Benghazi in a detention center called (Qanfouda). The official name is the Greater Benghazi Center. Among the 110 migrants, there were about 20 who still detained.

On 25 August 2023, Tarek Bin Zeyad Brigade released most of the detainees. More than 20 migrants remained in detention in the Qanfouda center. 

On 29 August 2023, Cedar Centre for Legal Studies submitted the cases of seven Syrians who remained detained in Qanfouda to the UN Special Procedures.

On 4 October 2023,  all the detainees were released.