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Media Watch Combatting Human Trafficking

385 Pakistanis freed from traffickers’ warehouse in Libya

LONDON: At least 385 Pakistani migrants, held in human traffickers’ warehouses, have been freed in a law enforcement raid near the coastal city of Tobruk, in northeastern Libya.

The Associated Press re­­ported on Tuesday that the Pakistani nationals were released early on Monday from smugglers’ warehouses in the Al Khueir area, south of Tobruk.

According to Al-Abreen, a migrants’ rights group based in the Tobruk, there are at least 11 children among the freed, some less than 10 years old.

A representative for the group told Dawn that some of the rescued migrants are suffering from diseases, such as scabies, and have been provided food.

The group claimed that the majority of those recovered have been sent by authorities to a facility in Qunfudhah, near the city of Benghazi, while 45 remain in army custody.

Although there was no official word from Libyan or Pakistani governments, it is expected that these migrants will be deported.

In videos and pictures posted to Al-Abreen’s Facebook page, a large group of people, ostensibly in the hundreds, can be seen sitting on the ground as people who look like volunteers and aid workers distribute food and drink. The captions indicate that the migrants had not eaten for three days and lacked access to basic necessities.

Published in Dawn, August 2nd, 2023

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