BY Francis Akhalbey, 8:00am October 09, 2020,

A Nigerian migrant worker has been burnt alive in Libya

A Nigerian migrant worker in Libya was burned alive by 3 nationals from the war-torn country -- Photo via Wiki Commons

Three Libyan nationals have been arrested in connection with the killing of a Nigerian migrant worker in a factory in Tripoli after dousing the victim in fuel and burning him alive, the war-torn country’s ministry of interior said in a statement on Wednesday, CNN reports.

Witnesses who spoke to authorities said they saw the suspects enter the facility to carry out the alleged crime.

The North African country is a major transit point for Africans looking to illegally enter Europe through the Mediterranean in search of greener pastures. Migrants who are unable to cross over and are intercepted or rescued by European coast guards at sea are usually taken back to detention centers in Libya.

Over the years, human rights groups and activists have condemned the country for being hostile towards migrants and refugees, accusing it of murder, inhumane conditions at detention centers, rape and torture.

Federico Soda, the Chief of Mission for the International Organization for Migration (IOM) in Libya, said they were “horrified” by the killing of the Nigerian migrant in a tweet on Wednesday.

“The young man was burned alive, in yet again another senseless crime against migrants in the country,” Soda added. “Those responsible must be held to account.”

In 2019, there were at least 641,398 migrants from 39 countries reported to be in Libya, according to the 25th round of the International Organization for Migration’s Displacement Tracking Metrix (DTM) data collection, which took place in March, April and May 2019.

Out of the total number of migrants identified, 602,282 individuals (94%) originated from 28 different African countries while 38,897 individuals (6%) came from 10 Asian and Middle Eastern countries. The remaining 219 individuals were recorded as of unknown nationality or other countries of origin.

An Amnesty International report that was released in September and cited by CNN also revealed the “horrific cycles of abuses” migrants and refugees have to endure in the country, adding that the COVID-19 pandemic has aggravated matters.

“Instead of being protected, they are met with a catalogue of appalling human rights abuses and now unfairly for the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic on deeply racist and xenophobic grounds,” the organization’s Deputy Regional Director for the Middle East and North Africa, Diana Eltahawy, detailed in the report.

“Despite this, even in 2020 the EU and its member states continue to implement policies trapping tens of thousands of men, women and children in a vicious cycle of abuse, showing callous disregard for people’s lives and dignity.”

In 2017, CNN uncovered a very worrying development in Libya, where migrants were auctioned like ornaments.

“Not a used car, a piece of land, or an item of furniture. Not ‘merchandise’ at all, but two human beings,” CNN wrote of the heartrending discovery.

First Lieutenant Naser Hazam of the government’s Anti-Illegal Immigration Agency in Tripoli told CNN that although he had not witnessed a slave auction, he acknowledged that organized gangs are operating smuggling rings in the country.

“They fill a boat with 100 people, those people may or may not make it,” Hazam said. “(The smuggler) does not care as long as he gets the money, and the migrant may get to Europe or die at sea.”

“The situation is dire,” Mohammed Abdiker, the director of operation and emergencies for the International Organization for Migration, said in a statement after returning from Tripoli in April 2019. “Some reports are truly horrifying and the latest reports of ‘slave markets’ for migrants can be added to a long list of outrages.”

Last Edited by:Mildred Europa Taylor Updated: October 9, 2020


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