TRIPOLI, May 9 (Xinhua) -- Between 7,000 and 8,000 Sub-Saharan African migrants are detained in Libya in detentions centers, according to an official on Tuesday.
Abdulrazaq al-Shniti of the illegal immigration counter authority made his remarks at the opening of a new illegal immigration detention center in Tajura in western Tripoli.
Al-Shniti said the "completely open southern borders of Libya" are the reason for the illegal immigration.
He added that the migrants are deported back to their countries after coordination with their embassies and the international organization of migration which "provides assistance to migrants in detention centers."
Illegal immigration can be controlled by stopping migrants from crossing through southern borders, al-Shniti explained.
Libya is a preferred point of departure for migrants wanting to cross the Mediterranean towards Europe. Smugglers take advantage of the state of chaos and insecurity to send thousands of migrants towards Europe, many of whom drown on the way.
Speaking at the UN Security Council on Monday, prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, Fatou Bensouda, expressed concerns over the inhumane detention of thousands of migrants in Libya, saying that there is possibility of opening an investigation into crimes against them.
The International Organization for Migration said that 20,000 migrants are held by criminal gangs in detention centers in Libya, where they are traded in "slave markets" before they are subjected to forced labor, sexual exploitation, or held for ransom.