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Despairing teen refugee found hanged in Libya detention centre

Asylum seekers at Ain Zara detention centre say Mohamed Mahmoud Abdel Aziz hanged himself, highlighting refugees’ plight.

WARNING: The following story contains images that may be disturbing to some readers.

The picture of a 19-year-old’s body hanging lifeless from the ceiling in one of the halls-cum-dorms of the Ain Zara detention centre, south of Libya’s capital, Tripoli, is the latest evidence of the human cost of the country’s detention centres.

WARNING: The following story contains images that may be disturbing to some readers.

The picture of a 19-year-old’s body hanging lifeless from the ceiling in one of the halls-cum-dorms of the Ain Zara detention centre, south of Libya’s capital, Tripoli, is the latest evidence of the human cost of the country’s detention cen

Mohamed Mahmoud Abdel Aziz, a refugee from Sudan’s war-torn region of Darfur, is believed to have killed himself on June 5 after being released and apprehended again in the span of two weeks.

Thousands of refugees and asylum seekers in Libya are languishing in the centres, trapped in endless cycles of detention and abuse with dire repercussions for their mental health and safety.

Asylum seekers who spoke to Al Jazeera from inside Ain Zara said Abdel Aziz’s body was left hanging for hours in the room where he lived with hundreds of others.

Mustafa, another Sudanese asylum seeker who asked that his name be changed to protect his identity, told Al Jazeera the image of Abdel Aziz’s body was taken covertly by detainees at the centre. Libyan authorities later confiscated phones to prevent the image from spreading, and dozens were not returned.

Mohamed Mahmoud Abdel Aziz, 19, hanged himself in Ain Zara detention centre.
Mohamed Mahmoud Abdel Aziz, 19, is believed to have hanged himself in Ain Zara detention centre, near the Libyan capital Tripoli. [Al Jazeera via sources]

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