Bangladesh Arrests Suspect in Libya’s Migrant Massacre

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Bangladesh Arrests Suspect in Libya’s Migrant Massacre
Bangladesh Arrests Suspect in Libya’s Migrant Massacre

On Thursday, the Bangladeshi authorities said that they arrested one of the suspects accused of shooting dead 26 Bangladeshis and four migrants from Africa in Libya in May 2020.

Rafiqul Islam Mal, 38 years old, was arrested from Shahjalal Airport while fleeing to Dubai last night on Wednesday.

Special Superintendent of Police (SSP), Nazrul Islam, of the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) Anti-Human Trafficking Team confirmed said that Rafiqul is a member of the human trafficking ring. “He is used to smuggling the common people to Libya with the promise of sending them to Europe to lead a better life,” Nazrul said, according to Bangladish Tribune.

He added that while Rafiqul was in Libya he built a human trafficking ring. “After returning to the country, he used to smuggle ordinary people to Libya via Dubai,” he explained.

In March 2021, Libyan police announced the arrest of one of the main suspects in the massacre of Bangladeshi migrants.

In May 2020, the family of a human trafficker killed by migrants for unknown reasons allegedly avenged his death by killing twenty-six Bangladeshis, and four African migrants in the city of Mizdah.

The former Government of National Accord’s (GNA) Interior Ministry said in a statement that the accused has confessed to the massacre.

“The arrest of the main suspect is a major victory,” the then GNA’s Interior Minister and current Prime Minister Fathi Bashagha said. He called it “proof” that such crimes could not be committed with impunity in Libya.

The incident caused outrage in Bangladesh, which demanded Libyan authorities investigate the murders, bring the perpetrators to account, and compensate relatives. A Bangladeshi accused of heading a trafficking ring with “links to international traffickers implicated in this incident” was arrested in Dhaka in June 2020.

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