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  • Migrants in a detention camp in Libya

    Migrants in a detention camp in Libya | Photo: Reuters

Published 16 September 2019

Italian police arrested three men on charges of kidnapping, rape and other crimes

Three men were arrested Monday in Italy over accusations of rape, torture and human trafficking of migrants at a prisoners camp in Libya after several witnesses recognized them in Sicily, as reported by The Guardian. 

The three men allegedly ran the notorious Zawiya prison, a former military base where they retained those trying to sail through the Mediterranean until they could pay a ransom.

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The accused, two Egyptian men aged 24 and 26 and a 27-year-old man from Guinea, migrated themselves to Italian coasts last June, arriving in Lampedusa before their transfer to Sicily.

The witnesses narrated a long list of crimes that go from constant physical abuse, including rape and even murder. They also spoke about other men involved in the prison camp, particularly one who was allegedly in charge, says The Telegraph.

According to The New Arab, some inmates told they had been "beaten with sticks, rifle butts, rubber pipes, whipped or given electric shocks", among other atrocities.

Other witnesses claim that in some cases when the ransom was not paid the prisoners were sold as slaves or simply killed. “This investigation confirms the inhumane living conditions within the so-called Libyan detention centres, and the need to act at international level for the protection of human rights and for the repression of these crimes against humanity,” said the chief prosecutor on the case, continues The Guardian.

In spite the terrible conditions in Libya and the thousands who die in the Mediterranean, this country is still one of the main destinations of migrants from the African country who are trying to get to Europe with the hope of a better life.

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