Sad saga of hapless fortune seekers
26 buried, 11 injured hospitalised in Libya
Published : Sunday, 31 May, 2020 at 12:00 AM Count : 270
"The migrant paid the traffickers up to US$10,000 each but their demand was for more and began torturing the hapless migrants. A fight broke out at one stage of an altercation and one of the top traffickers was killed, the members of the dead trafficker's family and his associates immediately opened fire indiscriminately and killed 26 Bangladeshis, four Africans on May 28 and injured several people there," Foreign Minister AK Abdul Momen said quoting a survivor who described the incident to the Bangladesh embassy from an undisclosed location.
"It's completely under control of the militia. We don't know when the killers will be brought to justice," Momen said. However, the Libyan government buried the Bangladeshi citizens there prior to the embassy had got a chance to charge of the bodies of the deceased.
Momen shared the description of the massacre in a video message on Friday, quoting the man, Momen said the massacre happened in the town of Mizda, 180 Km away from Tripoli. He (Sayedul Islam) was hiding in a Libyan citizen's home after escaping unharmed, the attackers ransacked a pharmacy where he had taken shelter initially.
Foreign Minister said there were 38 Bangladeshi migrants at the site of the massacre in the town of Mizda and that 11 injured survivors were taken to a hospital in Zintan. Five of the injured were in critical condition.
Quoting the survivor, Momen said the Bangladeshi migrants started for Tripoli from Benghazi with the traffickers 15 days ago, but members of a militia took them hostage in Mizda. There they paid the traffickers up to $10,000 each but they demanded more.
However, the Foreign Ministry released 23 names of the ill-fated Bangladeshi citizens. The 23 deceased are Sujan and Kamrul from Gopalganj, Jakir Hossain, Jewel, Firuz, Jewel-2, Manik, Asadul, Aynal Mollah, Monir, Sajib, Shaheen, and Shamim from Madaripur; Arfan from Dhaka, Lal Chand from Magura, Rajon, Rahim, Shakil, Sakib, Akash, Shohag and Muhammad Ali from Kishoreganj and Rakibul from Jashore.
Besides, the injured citizens are Firoz Bepari from Madaripur Sadar, Md Sajid from Bhanga upazila of Faridpur, Md Janu Mia, Md Sajal Mia and Md Shohag Ahmed from Bhairab upazila of Kishoreganj, Omar Sheikh from Muksudpur of Gopalganj, Md Torikul Islam from Magura, Md Bokul Hossain from Alamdanga upazila of Chuadanga, Md Ali and Md Samrat Khalasi and Sayedul Islam from Madaripur and Bappi from Chuadanga.
They are now undergoing treatment at Tripoli Medical Centre in the Libyan capital and six of them are out of danger, Foreign Minister said.
"Bangladesh communicated the issue with the International Organisation for Migration and demanded compensation and justice for the killings," the Foreign Minister said. The Civil Society for Global Commitments on Migration, a platform of organisations that work for migrants' welfare, has called for cooperation between different countries to find and punish the killers, he added.
Our Jashore correspondent said Libyan human traffickers had demanded Tk 10 lakh ransom for Jashore's Rakibul, one of the 26 Bangladeshi nationals killed by traffickers, claimed his family members.
Rakibul's elder brother Sohel Rana said the human traffickers held his brother and other Bangladeshis hostage in the town of Mizda, 180km away from Tripoli.
The traffickers on May 18 called him (Sohel) over phone and demanded Tk 10 lakh for his brother's release, he told our correspondent.
Sohel said he agreed to pay the ransom but wanted to send the money to a bank account in Libya.
The traffickers refused his offer and asked him to send the money to Dubai, he said.
The victim's brother claimed that four-five Bangladeshis were involved with the Libyan human traffickers and they always communicated with him over the ransom.
The human traffickers were supposed to receive the money from Dubai by June 1 but they killed Rakibul and 25 other Bangladeshis before that date, said the victim's relatives.