Italian authorities arrested three people suspected of raping and torturing migrants in a detention centre in north-west Libya on Monday, according to the Italian news agency AKI.
The three captors, aged between 24 and 27, include two Egyptians and one Guinean man, have been accused of torture, kidnapping, and mistreating dozens of people.
The migrants detained in the former military base of Zawiya on the Libyan coast, said that they had recognised their former jailers among residents of a migrant registration centre in Italy’s Sicily, said the testimony collected by Italian prosecutors. The head of the detention centre was the most ruthless powerful Libyan man named Ossama.
The victims, who were held in Libya since July 2018, reported that the kidnappers kept them in the detention centre until their relatives paid for their freedom. Those who do not pay, were sold as slaves or killed.
The violence against the migrants included systematically raping women, beating men with rifle butts, wooden poles, rubber hoses and whips and having electric shocks applied to their body parts. Italian police had also confirmed inhumane living conditions in the centre, saying that the migrants were “subjected to systematic atrocities, including repeated and constant physical violence.”
The migrants described the centre as a prison surrounded by high walls and guarded by armed men, where people were separated according to their sex or ethnic group.