Concerns are rising for the thousands of refugees and migrants who risk their lives at sea to get to Europe, following Italy's decision to take those rescued off the coast of Libya back to the country they are fleeing in future.

Aid organisations are said to be "horrified" at the idea of taking rescued refugees back to their home country at a time when revelations of the violent beatings and torture they could face on their return are emerging.

One Oxfam worker, Stefano Dimarco, said: "In Libya there are no human rights there is we cannot talk about a normal situation."

According to Oxfam a major report it is releasing next week is set to reveal dozens of testimonies of torture, sexual violence and murder against refugees and migrants in Libya just as Italy's parliament has authorised its coastguard to help take those picked up at sea back.

Italy's decision however comes as the country struggles with the influx of arrivals after having accepted more than half a million people in three years with seemingly little help from other European countries.


refugee and migrant arrivals to Italy by boat so far in 2017

But some refugees residing at an Oxfam run shelter in Sicily highlighted the risks of sending people back to Libya as they told ITV News of the beatings and torture that most migrants had endured there before fleeing their homes.

One man, from the Ivory Coast, said "They beat you when they want to, they beat you when they were happy and when they were angry."

Credit: ITV News

Another, from Senegal, said the situations many refugees had endured and fled from in their home countries were "not easy to talk about".

He said: "The Arabs when they catch someone, well you can't run. They just shoot you."

Credit: ITV News