Italy arrests three men suspected of torturing migrants in Libya


Italian prosecutors have ordered the arrest of three people suspected of kidnapping and torturing migrants in a detention centre in north-west Libya.

A 27-year-old man from Guinea and two Egyptians, aged 24 and 26, were taken into custody after police gathered testimony against them from other migrants.

The witnesses said the three men ran a prisoners’ camp in Zawiya, Libya, where those ready to attempt the Mediterranean Sea crossing to Europe were forcibly held until they could pay a ransom.

“I have been beaten several times. I suffered real torture that left scars on my body,” one migrant told prosecutors.

Others say women were raped and migrants who could not pay a ransom were killed or sold to human traffickers.

Libyan migrant detention centres are often controlled by armed groups which human rights groups have long denounced for violence, calling on the Libyan government to shut them down.

But the centres have continued to operate, receiving new arrivals from boats intercepted by Libya’s EU-backed coastguard.

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