What happened with migrants in port of Misrata: inside story

The Address | Benghazi – Libya

MISRATA – After twelve days on board the Nivin freighter, the 78 migrants rescued in the Mediterranean on the night between 7 and 8 November received a visit from a delegation of ambassadors and from the attorney general, in the port of Misurata. After a few hours, the coast guard broke into the ship with weapons in hand and evicted the migrants, la Repubblica reported.

Mohammed, a South Sudan migrant with whom la Repubblica had been in contact for days, wrote and sent a video of diplomats and photographs of the dramatic sanitary conditions inside the freighter. The 78 migrants left on board for more than ten days have defecated on the ground, without the possibility of using a toilet. And they urinated in water bottles.

It was a nightmare for the Nivin migrants, kidnapped in Libya with the help of Italy, according to la Republica.

The ambassadors tried to convince the migrants to disembark, telling them that they would take care of the situation.

In the middle of the afternoon, Mohammed wrote to La Repubblica that one of the Libyan mediators’ proposals included a transfer to Malta, with the veiled threat that they would be arrested in Malta.

According to a local source inside the port, the ship owner had asked the Libyan authorities for armed intervention and given his permission to intervene by force to free the Nivin freighter. The shipowner told the Libyan authorities that he would never go away with the migrants on board.

This morning the last message that came from Nivin was at 11.41. writes Mohammed: the coast guard has arrived armed.

After this message, every attempt to get in touch with the migrants was in vain. Of the four telephone numbers, two weno unanswered and two were off.

According to the reconstruction of local sources around noon the Libyan armed forces intervened on Nivin, firing rubber bullets.

Ten of them were injured and transferred to the hospital in Misrata. Some others, including minors, were taken to the Al Kararim detention center in Misrata. The others were under interrogation in the attorney general’s office. They were considered “kidnappers” and “pirates”. Access to the port is forbidden to journalists and humanitarian organizations. la Repubblica has managed to get comments from the Libyan security forces: according to these comments the migrants are considered “as kidnappers until the completion of the investigation”.



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