The International Organization for Migration (IOM) has documented the existence of prisons and public slave markets throughout Libya.
As smugglers bring migrants from countries like Niger to Libyan port cities like Sabha for the trip across the Mediterranean Sea, often middlemen demand a higher fee than the migrants expect to pay. The fee can be as high as 300,000 West African francs or 380 British pounds. Failure to pay up results in them being taken prisoner and sold into slavery.
Some who don’t pay their ransom are sometimes taken away and killed. Others may die of hunger and disease because of the unsanitary conditions in which they are housed.
Livia Manante, an IOM officer based in Niger, has received reports of migrants being brought to a square where they were put up for sale.
IOM Italy has confirmed that this story is similar to many stories reported by migrants and collected at landing points in southern Italy, including the slave market reports.”
The going rate for a migrant slave in the public markets ranges from $200 (160 British pounds) to $500 (400 British pounds). Once purchased, the migrant can be imprisoned and forced to work, resold in another slave market, sometimes freed or even murdered.
To protect the migrants from such horrendous treatment, IOM has repatriated about 1,500 people back to West Africa this year and undertaken an effort to educate would-be migrants about the hazards they face if they decide to leave their home countries.
The message delivered in those countries is direct and dire. It’s clearly meant to discourage anyone from attempting the dangerous trek to get to Europe.
Migrants who go to Libya while trying to get to Europe, have no idea of the torture archipelago that awaits them just over the border. There they become commodities to be bought, sold and discarded when they have no more value.”
This human catastrophe is just part of the unintended consequences of the 2011 ouster of Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi. Prior to the ill-considered regime change in Libya initiated by President Barack Obama and NATO allies, Libya was perhaps the most prosperous and stable country in North Africa.
It would have been unheard of for there to be public slave markets anywhere throughout Libya prior to Gaddafi’s overthrow, which was carried out by the Obama/Clinton regime.
Source: International Business Times
Image: Refugee Resettlement Watch