On Friday, the Italian Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, Manlio Di Stefano, said that there are continuous contacts with the Italian fishermen detained in Libya and ensured they were “fine.”
On 1 September, the Libyan Navy arrested 18 Italian fishermen for illegally entering Libyan waters. In 2015, four young Libyans were sentenced by the magistrates of Catania to 30 years in prison.
They were accused of organising a crossing from Libya, in which 49 migrants died. Libya is seeking a prisoner swap with the Italian government, but Rome has refused to be “blackmailed” by Libyan authorities in this case.
Notably, Major General Khaled Al-Mahjoub said that the Italian fishermen who have been detained in Benghazi will appear before the Public Prosecutor. They will be tried according to Libyan law.
The Director of the Department of Moral Guidance in the Libyan National Army (LNA) added that the Italians were in excellent health and were treated well. “We treat them with respect in accordance with international laws and human rights,” Al-Mahjoub assured.