Thursday, November 16, 2017

Ghanaians, Other African Migrants Being Auctioned In Libya

8:07:00 AM

Some African migrants including Ghanaians who are seeking greener pastures in Libya are being sold as slaves.

This was revealed by international news network CNN as part its investigations into the wave of human trafficking in Libya.

Some of the slaves who migrated from Nigeria and Guinea are being held at detention centres which lack ventilation and light.

Eight hundred, says the auctioneer. 900 1,000 1,100 Sold. For 1,200 Libyan dinars â€" the equivalent of $800, according to CNN report.

One of the unidentified men being sold in the grainy cell phone video obtained by CNN is Nigerian. He appears to be in his twenties and is wearing a pale shirt and sweatpants.

He has been offered up for sale as one of a group of big strong boys for farm work, according to the auctioneer, who remains off camera. Only his hand â€" resting proprietorially on the mans shoulder â€" is visible in the brief clip.

After seeing footage of this slave auction, CNN worked to verify its authenticity and traveled to Libya to investigate further.

Carrying concealed cameras into a property outside the capital of Tripoli last month, we witness a dozen people go under the hammer in the space of six or seven minutes.
Does anybody need a digger This is a digger, a big strong man, hell dig, the salesman, dressed in camouflage gear, says. What am I bid, what am I bid

Buyers raise their hands as the price rises, 500, 550, 600, 650 Within minutes it is all over and the men, utterly resigned to their fate, are being handed over to their new masters.

After the auction, CNN met two of the men who had been sold. They were so traumatized by what theyd been through that they could not speak, and so frightened that they were suspicious of everyone they met.

Crackdown on smugglers

Each year, tens of thousands of people pour across Libyas borders. Theyre refugees fleeing conflict or economic migrants in search of better opportunities in Europe.

Most have sold everything they own to finance the journey through Libya to the coast and the gateway to the Mediterranean.
But a recent clampdown by the Libyan coastguard means fewer boats are making it out to sea, leaving the smugglers with a backlog of would-be passengers on their hands.

So the smugglers become masters, the migrants and refugees become slaves.

The evidence filmed by CNN has now been handed over to the Libyan authorities, who have promised to launch an investigation.

First Lieutenant Naser Hazam of the governments Anti-Illegal Immigration Agency in Tripoli told CNN that although he had not witnessed a slave auction, he acknowledged that organized gangs are operating smuggling rings in the country.

They fill a boat with 100 people, those people may or may not make it, Hazam says. (The smuggler) does not care as long as he gets the money, and the migrant may get to Europe or die at sea.

By Ghana Leaks Blog

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