BREAKING NEWS

Now Reading:

Migrant prison in Libya acts as deterrent to would-be asylum seekers


Libya

Migrant prison in Libya acts as deterrent to would-be asylum seekers

For many migrants on their way through Libya in search of a better life in Europe, Tripoli is the end of the road.

In one of the Libyan capital’s prisons live hundreds of migrants for whom the dream of a new beginning has all but ended.

According to Libyan authorities, it is the best migrant prison in the country, one they gladly display as a deterrent to those who believe their fortunes lie across the Mediterranean.

Many have given up, and now only want to return home to be reunited with the families they left behind.

Many of the inmates here were convinced by smugglers that something better awaited them, but now they are crammed into crowded cells and, with Libya struggling to pay for enough supplies to go around, there is only enough food to last another two weeks.

Prison supervisor Anas al-Azadi said: “Libya is a victim as the immigrants, immigrants are victims we are victims also, we are just a crossing country.”

Now it’s a waiting game.

Migrants are to begin the long bureaucratic process of returning home, no matter how far that might be.

They must await new identification papers for their home country, and then the plan is to fly them back.

For Ramsui Capra from Sierra Leone, however, a trip home will not mend the wounds inflicted by his perilous migration.

“I lost my other brother on this journey,” he said.

“What are they telling us? I don’t know for the others but I know for me. If there is no way, let them carry me back. I want to see my mum, I want to see my mum.”

Some of the prison’s newest inmates, many far too young to understand the meaning of the word ‘migrant’, sit in the shade waiting to be processed.

They were plucked from the ocean by the Libyan coast guard after the boat they spent most of their life’s savings for a place on sank within hours of setting sail.

Now they are far hundreds of miles away from where they had hoped to be, and the dream of a new life in Europe grows ever more distant.