A report has emerged implicating Italy’s trained and armed Libyan
coastguards of recording Nigerian and other countries' migrants they
rescued off the Mediterranean as missing.

The Guardian reports that the migrants intercepted by the Libyan
coastguard are returned to so-called detention centres where,
according to aid groups and the testimonies of asylum seekers who were
held in Zawiya detention camp, they suffer unspeakable violence, rape,
and torture.

One of the migrants said in a testimony that they were fed with hard
bread and seawater, raped and tortured while waiting for their
relatives to ransom them.

“All the women who were with us, once housed inside the shed, were
systematically and repeatedly raped,” a testimony seen by the Guardian
stated.

“We were locked up and they gave us hard bread and seawater to drink.”

One of the migrants among a set of refugees held since July 2018,
claimed to have seen
two people get killed for attempting to escape.

“They gave us a phone to contact our relatives so we could instruct
them how to pay for our release,” the migrant said. “During my
imprisonment, I saw two migrants shot dead because they tried to
escape.”

The evidence is only just pouring out, following the arrest of a
Guinean and two Egyptians in the Italian coastal town of Sicily.

The United Nations had in a report released last week corroborated the
findings made by the prosecutors in the Sicilian precinct of Agrigento
saying, “Hundreds of rescued migrants who were reported to have been
sent to detention centres were later listed as missing, and it is
believed they may have been trafficked or sold to smugglers, while
others have disappeared.”

The Nigerian government has been very coy on providing detail about
statistics on the possibility of Nigerians being among these refugees.

The ministry of foreign affairs had told the BBC that nine Nigerians
were killed in an airstrike on a detention camp in Libya on July 4,
2019.

Last week, the United Nations reached a deal to evacuate about 4,700
refugees from Libya to Rwanda and the number of Nigerians among these
migrants are not known.

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