Libya arrests suspects in connection with migrant torture footage

Photo credit: The Times. African migrants at a detention centre in Tripoli, Libya.

TMP – 29/01/2018

Members of an organized crime ring have been arrested in connection to a video showing migrants being tortured in Libya, the country’s Interior Ministry has announced. Armed personnel affiliated with the country’s UN-backed government arrested six individuals for their suspected involvement in a recent viral video showing Sudanese migrants being tortured near the northern Libyan city of Sirte.

The graphic videos surfaced in early January and showed the young Sudanese men being beaten and burned as their captors demanded ransom money.

“After following up on the incident and communicating with the families of the abductees, immediate action was taken to collect information and investigate the whereabouts of the gang,” the Ministry’s Special Deterrent Force said in a statement on its official social media channels.

According to the Libya Herald, the Sirte Security and Protection Force, one of several factions who helped expel the Islamic State from Sirte last year, arrested the six suspects – five Libyans and a Palestinian – in Qadahiya.

Eight victims of torture were freed during the operation and are currently being treated at the Ibn Sina Hospital in Sirte, east of Tripoli.
The emergence of this latest video comes a few only a matter of months after CNN published an explosive report showing migrants being auctioned off as slaves in Libya for as little as 400 US dollars.

The video sparked outrage across the globe and spurred the repatriation of hundreds of migrants from the smuggling hubs of Libya to their home countries nations.