11 December 2023

Bangladesh demands compensation, punishment in Libya killings

Bangladesh contacted IOM to bring back 26 dead bodies, says foreign minister
Bangladesh's Foreign Minister AK Abdul Momen - Photo Desk

Bangladesh has communicated with the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) to bring back the dead bodies of 26 people who were killed in a gun attack in Libya and sought compensation for their families.

Bangladesh has also pursued for information on the traffickers and demanded punishment of those involved in human trafficking and killings.

Foreign Minister AK Abdul Momen shared the updates on Friday afternoon through a video message.

He said six out of 11 injured Bangladeshi citizens have fully recovered and Bangladesh Mission in Libya is in touch with them to get further details on the incident.

At least 26 Bangladeshi citizens were killed while 11 others injured in a gun attack reportedly by some human traffickers at at Mizda city, around 180 kilometer south from Libyan capital Tripoli on Thursday.

Different international media also reported the incident claiming that the family of a Libyan trafficker killed 30 migrants in revenge for his death.

One of the victims somehow fled and has taken shelter at a hidden place from where he informed about the incident over phone, Momen said.


Migrants paid $10,000 each to traffickers

He added, those 38 Bangladeshi nationals left the country three approximately months ago with a view to reaching to Italy by giving 10,000 US dollar for per head to a human trafficking syndicate.

“We [Bangladesh government] is trying to locate the local members of that syndicate”.

He also said the attacking place has been re-gained by Libyan government very recently. There is no strong administrative controlling there. That’s why it may take time to capture the criminals.

The minister also urged all Bangladeshi nationals not to try to migrate by any illegal syndicate channel with life risks.

There was scant information about the attack in the statement issued by the U.N.-supported government in Tripoli.

But the U.N. migration agency said the migrants were shot and killed on Wednesday in a smuggling warehouse in the desert town of Mizda, where a group of migrants were being held.

The slayings underscore the perils that migrants face in Libya, where violence and lawlessness have created a haven for smugglers to operate along the North African country’s coastline.

The government statement said migrants had killed a local trafficker in Mizda, near Tripoli, allegedly prompting his family to take revenge and kill the 30 migrants.


Issued arrest warrant

The Interior Ministry in Tripoli issued an arrest warrant for the suspected attackers, the Libyan government said.

“This senseless crime is bleak reminder of the horrors migrants have to endure at the hands of smugglers and traffickers in Libya,” said IOM’s Libya Chief of Mission Federico Soda, urging Libyan authorities to launch an immediate investigation into the killings and hold the perpetrators accountable.

Migrants fleeing poverty and conflict in Africa and the Middle East typically pass through Libya on their way to Europe, departing Tripoli’s rocky coast in inflatable dinghies.

The Libyan coast guard, trained by the EU to keep migrants from reaching European shores, intercepts boats at sea and returns them to Libya, where many migrants land in detention centers rife with torture and abuse.


Unrest in Libya prompts migrants to flee

On Thursday, the coast guard rescued 211 migrants, including women and children, in the Mediterranean Sea and brought them back to Libya’s shore, said Safa Msehli, an IOM spokeswoman.

The number of those fleeing Libya’s conflict has sharply risen in recent weeks, according to the U.N. migration agency, as the battle for control of the capital intensifies. In the past week alone, nearly 700 migrants were stopped and returned to detention facilities.

Militias loosely allied with the Tripoli government have been defending the country’s capital from a year-long offensive by eastern-based forces trying to capture it.


More News