Libya Special: Bright cost £244, Edos and Nigerians Sold as Slaves in Libya.
Libya: The international organisation for Migration has confirmed the existence of open -air slave markets in Libya where migrants are bought and sold for £244 for labour, prostitution or ransom.
A rescued patient, Bright 29 from Edo State told the evening standard investigation that he left Nigeria in 2013, paying to cross the Sahara on a pickup truck. He was taken to the town of Murzuk-a Libyan slave trade hub. a plumber from Nigeria, he queued up daily with other Migrants in the hope of finding menial work, but found the locals were unwilling to pay. "If you do find any work, some would pay, some not". Bright said if migrants ask for money, that means you are looking for death, every citizen has a gun in Libya. They put us in a big warehouse, it was like hell. No food, no water, everything had to be paid for. "They never let us out". He lost track of time but thinks he was detained for about a month. Bright saw many migrants die of illness and starvation. Others killed by guards for arguing. Women in the camp were taken away every day to be raped, possibly to earn money for their captors. "When you arrive in Libya, all hope is lost. you don't know if they are going to kill you, or send you back or let you leave". Bright laboured in Libya for 4 years until he was able to save £660 (1,200 Dinar) to get on a rubber boat to Italy.
Another patient William 20, said he was kidnapped and forced into slave labour for almost 2 years leaving the deadly crossing over the Mediterranean as his only option to escape. The brutal reality in Libya was far from the prosperity William said he was told there was a thriving market for construction workers. There was an Arab man, he took me to this place filled with hundreds of Migrants in dire conditions. They were forced to labour on building sites for just small food and drinks to survive. William said his body gave up but refusing to work means death. They had a gun, if you complain they won't pay you and will shoot you. On rare occasions he was given little money to buy food and saved until he was able to bribe a Libyan man to help him escape.
With no way of getting back to Nigeria he followed the hundred of thousands trying to flee Libya over the Mediterranean.
In The Mediterranean:
The flimsy rubber boat started taking on water with passengers using their clothes to bail as it started to sink. It was rescued and he was taken to Sicily to a rehabilitation centre run by Medecins Sans Frontieres. Here you will see victims of rape, trafficking, imprisonment and torture from Libya.
IOM Research estimates there are between 700,000 to 1 million migrants in Libya, with between 5,000 to 6,000 in detention.
Editors Comment: My Edo brothers and sisters please do not embark on this journey. The state and federal government should speed up their work. The standard is exposing human trade in Britain and around the world as part of a special investigation.