Killing of Bangladeshis in Libya

Dhaka demands punishment of killers

Diplomatic Correspondent

30 May, 2020 12:00 AM printer

Bangladesh government has communicated with the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) to bring back those killed or injured in a violent gun attack in Libya.

Twenty six Bangladeshi and four African migrants had been killed in the town of Mizda and 11 injured survivors were taken to a hospital in Zintan.

In a video message, Foreign Minister AK Abdul Momen has said Bangladesh has also sought information on the human traffickers and demanded punishment of those involved in human trafficking and killing after their arrest.

“We have already 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,” he said while sharing the updates yesterday (on Friday) afternoon.

Momen said of the 11 injured, six Bangladeshi nationals have fully recovered and condition of the remain people are stated to be critical.

He said there were 38 Bangladeshis in captivity at a hideout at the town called Mizda, 180 km south of capital Tripoli, while only one of the fellow inmates visibly could escape unhurt as the killing spree began.

Momen said the survivor told the embassy officials that the human trafficking gang was torturing Bangladeshi nationals for more money.

He also said the Bangladesh Mission in Tripoli have contacted with the Government of National Accord (GNA) in Libya for proper treatment of the hospitalised people and is in touch with them to get further details on the incident.

The Foreign Minister 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. He 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.

Though the GNA just a week ago took control of Mizda town but could not establish effective administration. 

The Bangladesh 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 added.

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 people might reach Libya three months ago by spending 8-10 thousand US dollars each.

Meanwhile, the Foreign Ministry in a press statement has said 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.

Most of the countries shifted their Missions to Tunisia but only three countries including Bangladesh are continuing operations from Tripoli, it said adding that 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.

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