Killing in Libya: Bangladesh demands compensation, punishment of killers


Dhaka, May 29: Bangladesh has communicated with the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) to bring back the bodies of 26 people who were killed in a gun attack in Libya and sought compensation for their families.Bangladesh has also sought information on the human traffickers and demanded punishment of those involved in human trafficking and killing after their arrest.

“We contacted with the IOM to make an arrangement for the 26 bodies in hospital morgue and demanded compensation for them. We also sought information about traffickers,” said Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen sharing the updates on Friday afternoon.

He said six out of 11 injured Bangladesh citizens have fully recovered and Bangladesh Mission in Libya is in touch with them to get further details on the incident.

Dr Momen said the Libyan Interior Ministry ordered arrest and punishment of the killers but there is no effective administration of the Tripoli government in the area where the Bangladesh citizens were killed.

At least 26 Bangladesh citizens were killed while 11 others injured in a gun attack reportedly by some human traffickers in the desert town of Mizdah in Libya on Thursday.

Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen and Bangladesh Ambassador to Libya Sk Sekander Ali confirmed UNB about the incident on Thursday night.

Different international media also reported the incident claiming that the family of a Libyan trafficker killed 30 migrants in revenge for his death.

“Of the injured, 11 are out of danger and they have been moved to Tripoli Medical Centre,” Sk Sekander Ali told UNB.

They have been killed in the town of Mizda, which is 180 kilometers away from Tripoli, said the Embassy.

The Embassy came to know about the incident over phone from one of the Bangladeshi survivors who took shelter in a Libyan family after the incident.

Traffickers Remain Active

The Foreign Minister said they cannot rule out possibility of more such incidents if the human traffickers remain active. “The fear is that traffickers remain active.”

He said the government and Bangladesh Mission in Libya are trying to know from which districts the Bangladesh citizens went to Libya and through which channel and who encouraged them to fall into trap.

Dr Momen urged the young people of the country not to take such risk as human traffickers remain active.

He said the traffickers might have planned to send those Bangladeshi people to Italy through risky boat journey.

The Foreign Minister said the people might reach Libya three months ago by spending 8-10 thousand US dollars each.

Complete Report Soon

Bangladesh Mission in Libya will send a report soon to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs about steps taken by the Libyan government and information about the human traffickers.

War is still going on between two strong groups in Mizdah town and the Tripoli government took control over the town just few days back.

Most of the countries shifted their Missions to Tunisia but only three countries including Bangladesh are continuing operations from Tripoli, said the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

The Embassy is providing support to Bangladesh citizens amid this adverse situation, it said.

The Foreign Ministry said the government is against all kind of trafficking and the government has taken various steps to halt human trafficking.

Bangladesh said the international community needs to work jointly to uproot human trafficking though there has been much progress in Bangladesh amid various efforts.

The family of a slain Libyan human trafficker attacked a group of migrants in a town that recently changed hands amid the fighting over the country’s capital, killing 26 Bangladeshi and four African migrants, AP reported quoting the Tripoli government.

There was scant information about the attack in the statement issued by the U.N.-supported government in Tripoli.

But the U.N. migration agency said the migrants were shot and killed on Wednesday in a smuggling warehouse in the desert town of Mizdah, where a group of migrants were being held.

The slayings underscore the perils that migrants face in Libya, where violence and lawlessness have created a haven for smugglers to operate along the North African country’s coastline.

The government statement said migrants had killed a local trafficker in Mizdah, near Tripoli, allegedly prompting his family to take revenge and kill the 30 migrants.

Eleven migrants were wounded in the rampage, it added, and taken to a hospital in the western mountain town of Zintan.

Other migrants in critical condition were rushed to clinics in Tripoli, said the International Organization for Migration, adding that some appeared to be victims of abuse.

The Interior Ministry in Tripoli issued an arrest warrant for the suspected attackers, the government also said.

“This senseless crime is bleak reminder of the horrors migrants have to endure at the hands of smugglers and traffickers in Libya,” said IOM’s Libya Chief of Mission Federico Soda, urging Libyan authorities to launch an immediate investigation into the killings and hold the perpetrators accountable.

Migrants fleeing poverty and conflict in Africa and the Middle East typically pass through Libya on their way to Europe, departing Tripoli’s rocky coast in inflatable dinghies.

The Libyan coast guard, trained by the EU to keep migrants from reaching European shores, intercepts boats at sea and returns them to Libya, where many migrants land in detention centers rife with torture and abuse.

On Thursday, the coast guard rescued 211 migrants, including women and children, in the Mediterranean Sea and brought them back to Libya’s shore, said Safa Msehli, an IOM spokeswoman.

The number of those fleeing Libya’s conflict has sharply risen in recent weeks, according to the U.N. migration agency, as the battle for control of the capital intensifies. In the past week alone, nearly 700 migrants were stopped and returned to detention facilities.

Militias loosely allied with the Tripoli government have been defending the country’s capital from a year-long offensive by eastern-based forces trying to capture it.