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Torture victims share their stories in Libyan camps - InfoMigrants
PARIS - Migrants trying to reach Europe face routine rape and sexual torture throughout their journey — and especially in Libya — with men facing abuse nearly as routinely as women, according to a study based on dozens of interviews with aid workers and migrants. With European Union funding, the Libyan coast guard retrieves migrants from the Mediterranean and returns them to detention centers nominally run by the government, where migrants say the abuse resumes. Smugglers torture migrants and film it to extract ransom payments from their families, and to thin the number of people in their unofficial prisons, according to the study. Previous studies have found that nearly all women who cross from North Africa have been raped or sexually abused along the journey; this one found that the danger was likely nearly as prevalent among men. A mental health worker described graves filled with men with their genitals sliced off — a description corroborated by the account of a survivor of a mass mutilation.
Three men suspected of torturing migrants at a detention camp in Libya were arrested by the Palermo anti-mafia squad in Messina on Monday. Their alleged victims have come forward with reports recounting the horrifying tortures they had to undergo. The two Libyans and one Nigerian were armed with submachine guns, while the other two Nigerians had two clubs. Living conditions inside the structure were unspeakable. They gave us seawater to drink, and every once in a while, hard bread," the migrant, who wanted to remain anonymous, recalled, adding that while the women suffered sexual abuse, the men were "beaten in order to make our relatives pay money in exchange for our release.
I was on a corner waiting for clients… and they abused me. They pulled me onto the police van… They saw that the area was empty… They started to grope me, take off my clothes. They ripped my blouse…. One after the other. From then on, they mistreated me.