A Libyan court sentences 37 human traffickers to prison terms for the killing of 11 migrants

A Libyan court in the east of the country issued strict sentences, including life imprisonment, against 37 persons accused of human trafficking, who caused the death of 11 migrants, according to what the Public Prosecutor’s Office announced on Monday.

The Public Prosecutor’s Office said in a press briefing, “The Court of Appeal of Al-Bayda convicted defendants involved in a criminal gang that caused the death of 11 immigrants. They were on a rickety boat.”

Basically, 38 people were accused of joining an organization whose members intended to transport illegal immigrants to the other side of the Mediterranean.

The court ruled to convict thirty-seven of them: five to life imprisonment, nine to a fifteen-year prison sentence, while the remaining convicts were imprisoned for one year.

The Public Prosecutor’s Office did not reveal the nationality of the convicts, nor did it provide any details about them.

This is the second judicial ruling issued against people involved in smuggling networks in Libya, which is mired in chaos, and whose coasts represent a major starting point for irregular migrants towards the northern Mediterranean coasts.

Rescue of migrants off the coast of Libya (archive)

This ruling comes less than a week after the Tripoli Court issued, last Friday, a life sentence against one person and twenty years imprisonment against two others.

And criticize the United Nations conditions of irregular migrants in Libya, Its mission confirmed in a report in March that they are arrested in an “arbitrary” manner and are often subjected to “killings, enforced disappearances and torture” or even “slavery, sexual violence, rape and other inhumane acts.”

The Libyan authorities deny these accusations, stressing that they do not resort to violence and that all migrants receive the necessary care in official detention centers, while human rights organizations confirm that torture and ill-treatment of migrants usually take place in detention centers under the control of armed groups.

In the past weeks, the security services launched massive campaigns in western and eastern Libya to control irregular immigrantsThousands of them were arrested in different cities.

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