LibyaPolitics

Report unveils details of Syrians detained in Libyan prisons

“Infomigrants website” published a report Tuesday on “Syrians” detained in Libyan prisons, saying that Syrian families are waiting for news about their children detained in Libya, who tried to migrate illegally, but were arrested by the coast guard. One of those families contacted Infomigrants to tell about their suffering.

A relative of one of the Syrian young men present in Libya told the website about the suffering of his family in searching for any news about their son, saying: “My brother and a group of young men from the village traveled to Libya about three months ago with the aim of finding work there.

“They traveled regularly from Damascus airport. Their hopes were based on what they had heard from others who were in Libya in the past. They imagined that work was available and that they would be able to establish themselves economically in a quick time, but reality was different and left us, the families, bewildered and anxious, begging for any news of them.” The relative said.

He added, “When they arrived, they discovered that finding a job as easy as they imagined was impossible. Their rosy ideas about raising money easily did not last long. It did not take long for them, as immigration was their only way out of the crisis in which they found themselves.”

He said: “After a search that did not last long, they identified one of the smugglers in Tripoli. They deluded them that the migration journey was very easy, and that all they had to do was pay part of the money before the trip and pay the other part after they arrived.”

“On April 08, they set out in a boat carrying 82 people, 73 of whom were Syrians. They remained in the water for 28 hours before a Libyan Coast Guard boat caught up with them and took them back to Tripoli. When they arrived on land, they were all held in “Ghouta Al-Shaal” prison, west of Tripoli, and after two weeks, 59 of them, including my brother, were transferred to Ain Zara prison.” He said.

According to the website, during all that period, we had no knowledge of what happened with the young men. Someone who managed to get out contacted us and told us the situation. Explaining to us the horrific conditions surrounding the young men, he said that there were patients among them and that the Libyans did not provide them with any help.”

$1,200 per person

“With this news, our life here has turned into hell. We are trying to elicit any detail through social media about our children. After a long search, I was able to find a group on WhatsApp, some of whose members are Syrians residing in Tripoli. Through this group, I was able to communicate with a Libyan person, who told us at the time that he could help us get our sons out of prison for $1,200 per young person.”

He adds, “We discussed it at length here in the village, and none of us could secure that amount. The broker refused to help us or reduce the amount. We kept searching until we found another person, who said that he was a jailer in Ain Zara and that he could get our sons out.”

In his speech, he points out that the jailer asked for $400 for each person, and confirmed that the amount would include the costs of taking them out and providing them with all their identity papers that had been confiscated from them. I called one of our villagers who reside in Tripoli and told him all the details. We transferred money to him to get 16 young men out of prison through a money transfer.

He explains, “In Tripoli, this young man managed to communicate with the supposed jailer and went to meet him. He wasn’t supposed to get any of the money before we could talk to our sons. But what happened proved some of our suspicions, as the supposed jailer was a swindler and had no idea how to get the young men out of prison.”

He continues, “There is a lot of news, some of which is real and some is false, but as families we try to stick to any news in the hope that it will get us any detail about our children. These men are still young, their ages range between 15 and 19, all they have tried to achieve is a better life for them and for us.”

The young man concluded his speech to “Infomigrants”: “We are not asking for much, all we want is to know their news and be reassured about their situation. Is this too much?”

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