On Wednesday, the Interior Ministry of the Government of National Accord (GNA) said that a Nigerian migrant worker was burnt to death in the Libyan capital, Tripoli.
In a statement, the ministry added that three Libyans stormed on Tuesday a factory in Tripoli’s Tajoura neighbourhood, where African migrants were working. The Libyans detained one of the workers, a Nigerian, poured gasoline on him and set him on fire. No motive for the shocking crime was given.
The ministry added that three other migrants suffered burns and were being treated in a nearby hospital, noting that the alleged perpetrators, all in their 30s, were arrested and referred to prosecutors for investigation.
“The young man was burnt alive, in yet another senseless crime against migrants in the country,” tweeted Federico Soda, the chief of the International Organisation for Migration in Libya.
The migrant’s death underscores the perils that migrants face in Libya, which has emerged as a major transit point for African and Arab migrants fleeing war and poverty for Europe. This situation stems from the long-lasting Libyan chaos that followed the 2011 uprising against long-time dictator Muammar Gadhafi.
In May, the family of a slain Libyan human trafficker attacked a group of migrants in the desert town of Mizdah, shooting and killing at least 30 migrants, most of them from Bangladesh, according to the UN migration agency.
In July, Libyan authorities shot dead three Sudanese migrants in the western coastal town of Khoms. The migrants were reportedly trying to escape after they were intercepted by the Libyan coast guard in the Mediterranean Sea and returned to shore.
The Libyan coast guard, trained by the European Union to keep migrants from reaching European shores, intercepts boats at sea and returns them to Libya.
Human rights groups say those efforts have left migrants at the mercy of brutal armed groups or confined in squalid and overcrowded detention centres that lack adequate food and water.