Last year, news of a full-fledged, real life Libyan slave trade taking place emerged. Migrants from Nigerian were being forced and sold into servitude after smugglers decided to sell them to the highest bidder.
The news was disheartening and huge blow to mankind. Video initially reported on by CNN investigators showed young men appearing to be sold for as little as $400 a piece.
Now, several migrants who have be freed from the inhumane bondage are coming forward to share their experiences.
Dozens of migrants, who spent years in Libya trying to buy their way to freedom and across the Mediterranean to Europe, spoke with the BBC. They detailed how they were beaten, raped, staved and sold as slaves while in the country.
The Nigerians, who are currently residing at the United Nations International Organization for Migration while they await transport home, explained how the town of Gharyan became a hub for slavery and indentured servitude. According to the former slaves, after individuals illegally crossed into Libya, they were taken to a local prison in the western town and sold or leased as slaves.
“They come to our caravans [cells], they pick six persons to do their dirty jobs, to do farming, brick-laying work,” Lucky Akhanene recounted of his experience to Newsweek. “They give us out to their friends. They don’t pay us. It’s just hard labor. If you’re not fast with your job, you get beaten.”
Jackson Uwumarogie was arrested in Libya while attempting to flee his homeland. He said he was sold along with 20 men for roughly $735. While in servitude, Uwumarogie worked on a farm where he harvested onions and fed cattle. He was only given food every few days, and had to drink seawater.
Other survivors described having to drink water from a toilet in order to survive.
Read more at Newsweek.