EDITORIAL: Dealing With Inhumanity, Cruelty, Slavery, and Human Trafficking in Libya
While we always focus on the positives of Africa and Africans here at African Events, sometimes certain events occur that are so thought-provoking and outrageous that we are compelled to report on them with hope that something could be done to remedy such horrible situations and prevent a repetition. One of such is the seeming ongoing “Slavery in Libya” saga.
Recently, horrible and dehumanizing images and videos have been circulating on social media and forums depicting the maltreatment of African youths said to be seeking to travel to Europe via Libya. We have not verified all of these images and videos, but they are so inhumane and undeserving depictions of man's inhumanity to fellow man, and ought to be decried anywhere with immediate effect and urgency. Such pictures/video show bloodied young men and women tied or hung with ropes, stabbed and cut with knives, or flogged and whipped, and so on. Some seem dead already while many others appear abandoned, hopeless, and helpless in empty detention camps, and even in cages being offered for sale to willing buyers and racketeers.
While Libyan authorities refer to these reports as a media campaign to defame Libya, several returnees have given first hand report of their experiences in Libya reflective of some of the things seen in the videos and pictures. We call on the Libyan authorities to invite foreign observers to investigate these allegations. Meanwhile, the fact remains that these videos and pictures speak for themselves and such acts should be discouraged and condemned as man’s inhumanity to man regardless of who the perpetrators are.
Inquiries to understand what these young men and women may have done wrong revealed that they simply were trying to travel overseas to Europe via Libya, but ended up stranded, and captured in Libya. Those lucky to escape and return home have revealed that these acts have become the trend in Libya and many engage in it as a way of making money in trading these migrants from one detention camp while extorting money even from authorities and Charity organizations in the name of providing immigration camps for stranded migrants.
Besides a few major media outlets like CNN, Time.com, and AlJazeera running limited stories on the issue, we have not seen any serious consistent reporting in Western or European media about this mishap. Regardless, Africans and all others anywhere in the world who have the human character of care and compassion must rise to condemn this inhumanity and encourage action to stop such inhumane and extreme evil of men against another, anywhere. These victims could be anyone's sister, brother, nephew, niece, aunt, son, daughter or such. We must not only speak up and say no to these acts but also take part in actions such as protests to bring more serious attention to these ills while hoping that these evil perpetrators meet their karma and face appropriate justice in due course.
While there is report that some countries have agreed to evacuate the stranded migrants, we must follow up to make sure these evacuations are complete, that those guilty of crimes in the situation are held accountable, and the sociopolitical situations, poor leaderships, and economic hardships in the home countries that result in these migrations in the first place are seriously addressed.
African Events Editorial – December 2017