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Exclusive: Moroccan Migrants Reduced To Slavery In Libya

The dream of the European Eldorado has turned into a real nightmare for nearly 200 Moroccans fooled by illegal immigration networks and currently held in Libya. Exclusive testimonials reported by Telquel Arabi.


When we contacted the families of Moroccans detained in Libya, they told us that their relatives paid an average of 40,000 dirhams to intermediaries who were supposed to send them to Italy.

The Moroccan matchmakers answer the names of Haj Saleh, Anas and Fatima … and are in permanent contact with the heads of illegal immigration networks in Libya. “This is a pseudonym ,” explains Ismaïl Semlali, the father of Mehdi, a young Moroccan detained in the center of “Tarik Assikah” in Tripoli.

Bring back our sounds!

Ibtisam. A. is the sister of one of the Moroccan victims, from Fkih Bensaleh. She tells us that her brother had gone to Libya, via Algeria, with two other relatives in the hope of reaching Italy. In the end, the three Moroccans found themselves hostages to trafficking networks.

Our interlocutor adds that these same networks contacted his family to ask for a ransom, otherwise the hostage was going to be murdered. The family then had no choice but to put their hands in their pockets and hand over the money to the intermediaries.

The version of Ibtissam. A. is corroborated by one of the Moroccans detained in Libya. Under the seal of anonymity, he reveals to us that he also had to pay 40,000 dirhams to land in Italy. Lacking luck, he ends up as a hostage in Libya.

” A gang had sequestered us and made contact with the head of a clandestine immigration network to sell us. The transaction took place. Our buyer forced us to pay double the amount he paid to buy us. The army ended up storming the houses we lived in Sabratha (northwestern Libya, Ed) and we ended up in a detention center “ , testifies our interlocutor.

” When you arrive in Libya and fall into the hands of illegal immigration networks, you put aside your dignity and you become a slave who must do whatever you ask. You can be killed without anyone knowing, “added another Moroccan, a native of Sidi Bennour who went out of his way to reach us from a Libyan detention center.

He added that seven Moroccans were severely tortured after fleeing a video reporting on the suffering suffered by the hostages.

“We do not have drugs, no hygiene products, and fleas make us more dead. We want King Mohammed VI to intervene to find a solution and allow us to return to our country, “continues the young man.


Blame it on Rabat?

After several months in the detention centers, the Moroccans began to record videos and broadcast them on the official website of the official Libyan body in charge of the fight against illegal immigration to accelerate an intervention of the Moroccan authorities. They even started hunger strikes to protest against the government’s El Othmani deaf ear.

Anouar Abu Dib, director of the Zouara detention center, agreed to answer our questions. He confirmed that 200 Moroccans were in this center, but that the Rabat authorities were doing nothing for their repatriation, knowing that few of them have a passport.

” The center is open to all authorities and NGOs. If a Moroccan NGO wants to visit the center, it is welcome. We have nothing to hide, “  adds Abu Dib who refutes accusations of abuse against those held in his center.

The Libyan leader does more than answer our questions. He proposes to put us in telephone contact with the Moroccans held in the center of Zouara.

The first to seize the handset is Mostafa Lakhdar, from the Khouribga region. ” We only want to return to the country like the Algerians, the Egyptians and the Nigerians. We are still waiting for a royal intervention to put an end to our suffering and that of our families, “says this father of seven.

“We have lived in this center for a long time and when we ask the Libyans, they  tell us that it is the fault of the Moroccan authorities,” adds Mohamed Aach, a native of Khouribga, and father of four children.

Mohamed Aach paid 50,000 dirhams in the hope of rallying Italy via Libya.  “I spent three months as a hostage in illegal immigration networks. It was the worst time of my life, “he says.

Ahmed Hamza is the rapporteur of the National Human Rights Committee in Libya. During a contact with Telquel Arabi, he contradicts the version of the officials of the Zouara detention center. He describes the conditions of detention of Moroccans as ” miserable ” in the absence of adequate care and food.

“The Libyan authorities have prepared all the documents relating to Moroccan detainees and we are only waiting for the response of the Moroccan authorities ,” said Jamal Al Mabrouk, president of the Organization for International Cooperation and Relief.

“Remember later, I’m having lunch!”

We tried to reach Abdelkrim Benatiq, Minister in charge of Moroccans in the diaspora. When he answered our calls last Saturday, he asked to be called back since he was busy taking his … lunch. Since then, no follow-up has been given to our requests.

Last Friday, the department of Benatiq had issued a statement claiming to follow with great attention the case of Moroccans retained in Libya and that, with the cooperation of other departments concerned, these Moroccans would soon be repatriated.

A government source tells us that Nasser Bourita, head of Moroccan diplomacy, is following this issue very closely and that the authorities have made the repatriation of Moroccans held in Libya one of his priorities of the moment.



Written by How Africa

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