Authorities free more than 100 migrants in southeast Libya

Authorities free more than 100 migrants in southeast Libya
(File) Migrants sit in the courtyard of a detention centre in Libya. UNICEF/Alessio Romenzi

Over 100 migrants, including women and children, have been rescued from captivity in southeast Libya, according to Reuters citing a security force spokesperson.  

The migrants wanted to go to Europe and had been held for up to seven months, said Walid Alorafi, spokesman for the Criminal Investigation Department in Benghazi. The migrants were from numerous sub-Saharan countries, with most from Somalia, he added. 

"We raided a hideout in the downtown of Kufra last night and we found illegal migrants including women, children and old men who some have marks of torture and bullets," Alorafi said. The migrants were handed over to Libya’s illegal migration agency for processing.

Kufra is about 1,700 kilometers from the capital Tripoli.

Since Gaddafi's fall in 2011, Libya has become a transit route for migrants trying to get to Europe. The country hosts over 704,000 migrants from 43 nations, according to the UN. In March, a mass grave with 65 migrants was discovered in southwest Libya. In April, UN Special Envoy Bathily urged regional cooperation to protect migrants, citing reports of abuse and arbitrary detention.

Great! You’ve successfully signed up.

Welcome back! You've successfully signed in.

You've successfully subscribed to MAGHREB INSIDER.

Success! Check your email for magic link to sign-in.

Success! Your billing info has been updated.

Your billing was not updated.