My latest documentary for the German TV channel ZDF looks at the EU cooperation with Libya. So far, the EU has spent 506 million euros to Libya, of which 87 million alone to support the so-called Libyan coast guard. Is Europe therefore responsible for human rights violations in Libya? 


“We left Libya in a rubber dinghy in the night. We were rescued by the Libyan coast guard. We called the Italian authorities and they sent the Libyans to bring us back. While we were sailing we had a problem with our dingy, it was very hot and the dinghy was deflating. Also at one point the engine stopped. On the boat there were a lot of children and pregnant women. Families. We struggled to survive. We were in the water next to dead bodies. Europe should know what we are going through: we cannot stay in Libya. It’s very dangerous for us. “

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Many of the survivors are mourning the loss of their relatives. On top of the dangers faced during the journey through Libya, they have experienced another very traumatic situation at sea. Instead of receiving the support they need, refugees and migrants are arrested and detained in deplorable living conditions, without basic safeguards or legal recourse. 

I have collaborated with the New York Times on this investigations on dire conditions in Libyan detention centers. Using visual clues such as the distinct gate, reference photos and satellite imagery, we were able to confirm that a military vehicle was inside the weapons depot.

Several other sources confirmed the presence of the weapons depot, and sent us photos of detainees wearing military fatigues standing next to or washing trucks mounted with heavy machine guns. Some migrants told us they were conscripted to fight with a pro-government militia that ran the compound.