Saturday, July 4, 2020 | ePaper

How Bangladeshis were killed in Libya

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A survivor of the carnage in which 26 Bangladeshi migrants were killed in Libya has described the incident to the embassy from an undisclosed location.
The man said he was hiding in a Libyan citizen’s home after escaping unharmed, the foreign ministry said in a statement on Friday, a day after the killings by the family of a human trafficker to avenge him.
 Foreign Minister AK Abdul Momen said in a video message that there were 38 Bangladeshi migrants at the site of the massacre in the town of Mizda and that 11 injured survivors were taken to a hospital in Zintan.
Five of the injured were in critical condition, the foreign minister said. Four African migrants were also killed in the bloodbath.
Citing the survivor, Momen said the Bangladeshi migrants started for Tripoli from Benghazi with the traffickers 15 days ago, but members of a militia took them hostage in Mizda.
The migrants paid the traffickers up to $10,000 each but they demanded more and began torturing the hapless migrants.
A fight broke out at one stage of an altercation and one of the top traffickers was killed, the survivor said.
The members of the dead trafficker’s family and his associates immediately opened fire indiscriminately, the Bangladeshi migrant said.
Sayedul Islam from Madaripur district added the attackers ransacked a pharmacy where he had taken shelter initially.
Foreign Minister Momen said Bangladesh communicated with the International Organisation for Migration and demanded compensation and justice for the killings.
The foreign ministry said in the statement that all the countries, except Bangladesh and two others, moved their missions from Libya to Tunisia due to fighting.
“It’s completely under control of the militia. We don’t know when the killers will be brought to justice,” Momen said.
The Civil Society for Global Commitments on Migration, a platform of organisations that work for migrants’ welfare, has called for cooperation between different countries to find and punish the killers.
It also questioned the presence of new Bangladeshi migrants in Libya five years after the halt on manpower export to the north African country.  

The foreign ministry identified most of the victims with single names.
As many as 11 of those killed were from Madaripur district.
They are Jewell and Manik of Rajoir Upazila, Ashadul, Aynal Molla and Monir of Tekerhat, Sajib and Shahin of Ishabpur, Shamim and Zakir Hossain of Dudhkhali, and Jewell and Feroz of Sadar Upazila.
Seven others were from Kishoreganj district. They are Rajon, Shakil, Shakib Mia, Shohag, Akash and Mohammad Ali of Bhairab Upazila and Rahim of Hosenpur.
The others included Sujan and Kamrul from Gopalganj district, Lal Chand from Magura, Arfan from Dhaka and Rakibul from Jashore.


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