‘The Wall Street Journal’ newspaper reported the kidnapping and torture of illegal migrants in Libya by militias who blackmailed their families and demanded a ransom for their release.
In late May, Juwel Howladar, a 24-year-old Bangladeshi who was in Libya in search of work, left a voice message for his sister. In tears, he said he had been kidnapped and was being tortured in an abandoned warehouse. He begged his family to send $12,000, or else he would be killed, his sister said.
In its report, the newspaper stated that the Tripoli-based Government National Accord (GNA) has closed several of these detention centers and released hundreds of migrants.
It added that aid workers said that the closures were due to a number of aid organizations no longer providing services to the detention centers due to militia requests for bribes. A number of these centers were not affiliated with the GNA.
These are often based in abandoned warehouses or factories in which migrants may face more harmful violations than those registered by the government.
Liam Kelly, director of the Danish Refugee Council in Libya, noted that an estimated 80,000 refugees and migrants in Libya have been held in these unofficial centers over the past few years.
Doctors Without Borders (Médecins Sans Frontières) revealed that it had treated a large number of migrants suffering from torture. The migrants said that their injuries were mostly results of ill-treatment in detention centers.