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Libya frees 47 illegal migrants from ‘secret prison’

March 15, 2021 at 8:49 am

Migrants rescued off the coast of Al-Khums, about 120 kilometres east of the capital, sit on the pier in Tripoli’s naval base on February 10, 2021 [AFP via Getty Images]

The Security Directorate in Libya’s southern city of Kufra yesterday said it had “liberated 47 illegal immigrants who were detained by human traffickers in a secret prison on the outskirts of the city.”

In an official statement, the office explained that the liberation of the hostages was carried out “through joint security work with our criminal investigation department, the city’s shelter and deportation centre”.

It added that the hostages had included “46 Sudanese nationals and an Ethiopian.”

The operation to free the hostages, the directorate added, had taken place “after one of the prisoners managed to escape and reached the northern gate of the city”, where he informed local volunteers of his plight and local authorities were then informed.

In 2017, CNN reported that Sub-Saharan African migrants in Libya were being sold off as slaves by human traffickers in war torn Libya.

Migrants have regularly faced abuse in Libya where their money is taken by smugglers in return for space on dinghy boats where people often drown while attempting to cross the Mediterranean or they are forced to live in detention centres where they face torture and rape.

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