$500 Will Buy a Slave in Libya
Migrants in Libya are being sold like slaves
The head of mission of the International Organisation for Migration in Libya, Othman Belbeisi, stated that an increase was registered in African migrants who are being negotiated in Libya as if in a slave market and are being forced to work or sexually abused.
“Migrants also are being sold, and selling human beings is becoming a trend among smugglers as the smuggling networks in Libya are becoming stronger and stronger,” Belbeisi said. “About women, yes, we had a lot about bad treatment, and rape, and being forced for prostitution as well.”
African migrants sold in Libya ‘slave markets’
Victims told IOM that after being detained by people smugglers or militia groups, they were taken to town squares or car parks to be sold.
Migrants with skills like painting or tiling would fetch higher prices, the head of the IOM in Libya told the BBC.
Libya has been in chaos since the 2011 Nato-backed ousting of Muammar Gaddafi.
A Senegalese migrant, who was not named to protect his identity, said that he had been sold at one such market in the southern Libyan city of Sabha, before being taken to a makeshift prison where more than 100 migrants were being held hostage.
He said that migrants held at the facility were told to call their families, who would be asked for money to pay for their release, and some were beaten while on the phone to allow relatives to hear them being tortured.
Women, too, were bought by private Libyan clients and brought to homes where they were forced to be sex slaves, the witness said.
The IOM’s chief of mission for Libya, Othman Belbeisi, told the BBC that those sold into slavery found themselves priced according to their abilities.
Rescued ‘slaves’ tell of detention, beatings in Libya
A day after reaching safety aboard a humanitarian ship, migrants, some of whom were enslaved, told of arbitrary detention, slavery and beatings in Libya as Europe seeks to build up the Tripoli-based coastguard.
“Libya is crazy. They arrest us, the police…They put us in some place…two, three days no eat, no drink. They beat us,” said Alseer Issa Ibrahim, 28, from the Darfur region of Sudan.