Migrants forced to pay for release

2012-11-18 14:05
Migrants. (File)

Migrants. (File)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Valletta - A group of asylum seekers recently rescued off Malta were forced to pay to be released from a Benghazi prison only to be held against their will and forced onto an overcrowded boat with little food and water, The Sunday Times of Malta reported.

The group of 246 Africans, including 28 children, arrived in Malta on 9 November after being rescued. The migrants, mainly Eritrean, have told their story to officials of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHRC) officials in Malta.

The Africans told the UN officials that Libyan smugglers gave them food and water for just two days and then crammed them onto a boat with many fearing the worst when on the fifth day their engine broke down.

"This confirms that the new Libya is not safe. Armed groups are exploiting foreigners and acting with impunity," Jon Hoisaeter, UNHCR representative to Malta told The Sunday Times.

The Africans said they were imprisoned because they had no official documentation. While in prison they were approached by unidentified people who asked for money to get them released and to go by boat to Europe.

"If we did not behave, they would have beaten us and left us in prison," the migrants told the UNHCR.

After paying for release from the prison, the group was held by an armed group for several months in a small compound outside Benghazi.

One woman was reported to have died in the compound outside Benghazi.

Hoisaeter said the UNHCR has multiple sources of information tallying with the migrants' claims about Libya, which has still not signed the UN Refugee Convention.

Read more on:    libya  |  migration  |  north africa
NEXT ON NEWS24X

SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining

Inside News24

 
/News
 

Top 10 richest musicians of all time

Check out the gallery to find out who they are!

 
 

Luxury living

10 of the most expensive things that will leave your jaw hanging!
Seven of the most expensive children's toys ever made
5 millionaires turned murderers
The youngest billionaires in the world and how they made it
Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

There is a tendency towards setting your expectations too high which will result in disappointment. Try not to let your thoughts...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.