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Group behind latest migrant torture arrested in Libya

Image of Libyan security forces [file photo]
Libyan security forces [file photo]

A group behind the latest videos to emerge showing Sudanese migrants being tortured in Libya have been arrested.

Sirte Security forces from Bunyan Al-Marsous (BAM) forces have confirmed they arrested five Libyans and a Palestinian in the town of Qadahiya near the city of Sirte.

During the arrests, which were made following a shootout between the security forces and smugglers, the eight detained Sudanese nationals were freed and taken to the city’s Ibn Sina hospital for treatment.

The videos showed a number of young Sudanese men being beaten and burned as their captors called on their families to free them by paying a ransom fee. They were mainly escaping their turbulent region of Darfur and were using Libya as a base to escape to Europe.

Read: African Union to investigate videos of Sudanese tortured in Libya

Working with the Tripoli-based Rada Special Deterrence Force, which set up a committee in the aftermath of the videos, intelligence was gathered as per the Presidency Council’s interior ministry’s instructions in locating the group’s whereabouts after the torture videos were uploaded online.

Libya’s ambassador to Sudan was yesterday called to the foreign ministry in Khartoum and told of the country’s “discomfort” over the video whilst the Libyan Foreign Ministry responded to the videos as “inhumane”.

Read: The million-dollar boat ride across the Mediterranean

This is not the first time videos have emerged showing migrants being held captive and tortured whilst in Libya. Last year there was an international outcry when undercover reporting by CNN uncovered slave markets operating in Libya with migrants sold off for as little as $200.

Thousands of migrants have used Libya as a base to try to enter Europe via Italy with a large number dying at sea, being detained in Libya where they have faced torture and rape or being sent back to their countries of origin.

The National Commission for Human Rights in Libya (NCHRL) condemned the video as a “heinous crime” and “inhumane abuse” and held organised crime networks and human traffickers as responsible for the crimes rampant in Libya.

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