Deaths of 26 in Libya: CID to seek Interpol’s help in capturing suspects | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, October 05, 2020 / LAST MODIFIED: 03:36 AM, October 05, 2020

Deaths of 26 in Libya: CID to seek Interpol’s help in capturing suspects

The Criminal Investigation Department will issue a Red Notice through Interpol by this week for Bangladeshi human traffickers thought to be responsible for the killing of 26 people of the country in Libya earlier this year.

"We will issue the notice for 10-20 people," Syeda Zannat Ara, special superintendent of police (Serious Crimes and Homicide), told a press conference at the capital's CID headquarters yesterday.

Also present at the event were nine survivors of the massacre that happened at a warehouse in Mezda in southwest of Tripoli in May.

A Red Notice is a request to law enforcement worldwide to locate and provisionally arrest a person pending extradition, surrender, or similar legal action.

The survivors came back to the country on a special flight on September 30. Three other survivors have yet to reach Bangladesh, Zannat said.

"We will talk to the survivors and identify the foreign agents involved in the trafficking chain," she said.

Law enforcers arrested 44 people in 26 cases filed in this regard.

"We have spoken to the families of the 26 who died. The families filed the cases, and they gave us the identities of the local traffickers. Most of them have been arrested."

The nine survivors present there bore the marks of torture and many had freshly healed bullet wounds, and one of them had been permanently disabled.

Janu Miah said, "The incident happened on May 27 around 11:00am. The mafia used to come to our camp and beat us up; this was a daily routine, but that day they tortured us indiscriminately.

"There were around 100 to 150 people from Ghana, Nigeria and Sudan. Around 30-35 of them were women. The Libyan mafia started beating them up, but they retaliated that day and killed a member of the mafia."

The other members of the mafia called for reinforcements, who came and started a shooting at the migrants, he described, "That is how 26 of us died, and 12 of us got injured."

The CID shared with journalists a video footage of the incident obtained from the survivors. The video begins with the image of a body being dragged on a mosaic floor with floral motifs. Men carrying weapons that looked like semi-automatic rifles walked about. The smoke and dust made it difficult to see what was going on. Most of the video was shot in the dark with the only light coming from a parked car.

The person filming walked up to a body possibly of a dark-skinned individual lying in a pool of blood. He then walked up to another body of a lighter-skinned man with close-shorn hair wearing a black and red polo shirt. More bodies come into view, blurry in the smoke.

Throughout the video, people shouted in Arabic. "Stop recording," and "Where is my pistol?" were two of the things said.

Janu Miah said, "One person from the mafia took us to a hospital, but the doctor refused to treat us, saying that there is no chance of survival. The hospital provided an ambulance for another hospital, and they too refused to treat us."

He himself survived two bullet wounds in the stomach.

"Around dawn, they left us on a garbage heap in the desert. We walked around two to three kilometres in that state and found a house of a Sudanese camel-herder. He gave us shelter, and got the locals to call the militia. The militia came, took us away in their vehicles, and got us admitted to Tripoli University Medical College Hospital.

"They didn't treat us until the Bangladeshi embassy officials came. My surgery was done at 1:00am."

The survivors were taken to the Chief Metropolitan Magistrate's Court of Dhaka to give their statements.


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