- Title: Rescued migrants tell of detention, beatings, slavery in Libya
- Date: 19th May 2017
- Summary: AT SEA (MAY 19, 2017) (REUTERS) MIGRANTS ON DECK OF RESCUE VESSEL AQUARIUS CHATTING AND LOOKING OUT AT SEA / MALE MIGRANTS DOING SIGN WITH HIS FINGERS AND SMILING BROADLY RESCUER PLACING WRIST BAND AROUND YOUNG GIRL MIGRANT'S WRIST (SOUNDBITE) (English) 28-YEAR-OLD MAN FROM DARFUR, SUDAN, ALSEER ISSA IBRAHIM, SAYING: "Really, Libya is crazy. They arrest us, the police and robbing. They put us in some place. They disturb us they take all our money, they never eat, two days three days no eat, no drink. They beat us. They (we) suffer too much." MIGRANTS ON DECK LOOKING OUT AT SEA (SOUNDBITE) (English) 21-YEAR-OLD MAN FROM DARFUR, SUDAN, YAGOB MOBARK IBRAHIM, SAYING: "We are always suffering in Libya from hungry and the Libyan people hate us and they push us. They don't look at us like people, they look at us like animals. We are too afraid in Libya. I say to anyone, for my friends, if you want to go to Europe don't come by Libya." YOUNG GIRL BEING GIVEN DRINK AND BREAD (SOUNDBITE) (English) 29-YEAR-OLD MAN FROM NIGERIA, JOHN OSIFO, SAYING: "In Libya they are animals. They treat people like slaves. They believe blacks are slaves. That is what they call us, they say we are slaves. When they want to beat us, they beat us with pipes. They take us to jobs, force us to do hard labour without payment. They won't pay. You'll be forced to eat warm bread for a whole day and you work from like 10 in the morning to 8 in the night, and at the end you get nothing. Sometimes they take you to a prison where you'll be kept and be beaten up. That is what happens in Libya." MIGRANTS ON DECK GESTURING WITH THEIR HANDS AND SMILING
- Embargoed: 2nd June 2017 14:57
- Keywords: slavery beatings detention Libya rescue migrants
- Location: AT SEA
- City: AT SEA
- Country: At Sea
- Topics: Asylum/Immigration/Refugees,Government/Politics
- Reuters ID: LVA0016HI8Q4N
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: PLEASE NOTE: AUDIO QUALITY AS INCOMING
A day after reaching safety aboard a humanitarian ship, migrants on Friday (May 19) told of arbitrary detention, slavery, and beatings in Libya as Europe seeks to build up the Tripoli-based coast guard to stop people smuggling.
28-year-old Alseer Issa Ibrahim from the Darfur region of Sudan said he had been arrested, beaten and surviving on little food and water.
Yagob Mobark Ibrahim, also from Darfur, described being treated like an animal during his two months in Libya. The 21-year-old, who hopes to continue his engineering studies in Europe, urged others not to follow on the route he had chosen to reach the continent.
The two young men are among some 600 people on the Aquarius, a rescue ship operated by Doctors without Borders (MSF) and SOS Mediterranee, who are now steaming toward an Italian port.
Six years after the ouster of strong man Muammar Gaddafi, Libya appears to be sliding deeper into lawlessness. Smugglers are packing record numbers of people onto unsafe boats, with sea arrivals to Italy up 35 percent so far this year, and more than 1,300 have died.
John Osifo, a 29-year-old Nigerian, spent 11 months in Libya. He said he did not plan to go to Europe, but after a few months working at a car wash, a local man destroyed his passport and work permit, making him an irregular migrant. Afterward he was forced into hard labour, he said, showing a scar on his left hand.
The European Union and Italy agreed in February to funnel millions of euros to the United Nations-backed government in Tripoli to help it fight human trafficking and to build migrant camps to be managed by the U.N. agencies. These camps have yet to be opened, mainly because it is still too dangerous.
But the capacity of Tripoli's coast guard is already increasing, and humanitarian groups are worried that it will end up feeding the lucrative smuggling business as migrants try again to make the crossing, and landing more and more people in appalling government-controlled centres after they are stopped.
On Friday MSF, one of the few aid agencies entering the government-controlled camps, said in a statement it had witnessed adult malnutrition, overcrowding, violence-related injuries and lack of basic hygiene.
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