Going, Going, Gone! There goes a young Nigerian being sold publicly in an auction in Libya. He is one of those looking for greener pastures overseas and got stranded.
Yes, it is true! The Trans Atlantic Slave Trade may have ended but a new brand of slavery is going on. Hidden cameras have been used to uncover such barbarism in Libya, a neighbouring and warring African country.
CNN reports that Nigerians desperate to travel abroad and who eventually become stranded in Libya are among those being currently auctioned as slaves in the war-torn country.
The special report said, “one of the unidentified men being sold in the grainy cell phone video obtained by CNN is Nigerian. He appears to be in his twenties and is wearing a pale shirt and sweatpants.”
CNN said the man had been offered up for sale as one of a group of “big strong boys for farm work,” according to the auctioneer. The report disclosed that some of the slaves were being sold for as little as $400 and that the business continued to boom despite the fact that slavery remained abolished worldwide.
Another part of the report said: “After seeing footage of the slave auction, CNN worked to verify its authenticity and travelled to Libya to investigate further.
“Carrying concealed cameras into a property outside the capital of Tripoli last month, we witnessed a dozen people go “under the hammer” in the space of six or seven minutes.
“Does anybody need a digger? This is a digger, a big strong man, he’ll dig,” the salesman, dressed in camouflage gear, says. “What am I bid, what am I bid?”
“Buyers raise their hands as the price rises, “500, 550, 600, 650 …” Within minutes it is all over and the men, utterly resigned to their fate, are being handed over to their new “masters.”
“After the auction, we met two of the men who had been sold. They were so traumatised by what they’d been through that they could not speak, and so scared that they were suspicious of everyone they met.”
It was noted “the auctions take place in a seemingly normal town in Libya filled with people leading regular lives. Children play in the street; people go to work, talk to friends and cook dinners for their families.” As this huge crime takes place inside, life goes on as normal outside in the streets.
The report quoted Mohammed Abdiker, the director of operation and emergencies for the International Organization for Migration, as saying in a statement: “The situation is dire. Some reports are truly horrifying and the latest reports of ‘slave markets’ for migrants can be added to a long list of outrages.”
This video evidence has been handed over to the Libyan government and the International criminal court. (ICC)
It could be recalled that Italian prosecutors are investigating the death of 26 Nigerian women, most of them teenagers, whose bodies were recovered at sea. There are suspicions that they may have been sexually abused and murdered as they attempted to cross the Mediterranean Sea. The 375 survivors come from Nigeria, Senegal, Ghana, The Gambia and Sudan.
People-smuggling gangs are said to charge each migrant about $6000 to get to Italy, $4000 of which is for the trans-Saharan journey to Libya.