Group of Nigerian migrants released from Libya detention center after abuse video

A group of immigrants leave Libya (Photo: Internet-Archive) 

A group of Nigerian migrants held in Libya have been released after a video documenting their detention went viral on social media, AFP has reported.

The migrants, held in the coastal city of Zawiya, filmed the video in July, documenting the poor conditions of their imprisonment and pleading for the Nigerian government to help them.

“We have told them that we want to go back to Africa but they refuse to deport us,” says a man in the video that was shared over WhatsApp and other social networks. “We are suffering here, we are dying here… they are keeping us here for business.”

After the video was sent to a citizen journalism initiative France 24 Observers, reporters alerted the UN’s International Organisation for Migration (IOM) who intervened on their behalf.

“If not for that video we wouldn’t have been able to come back to Nigeria, I believe that,” Efe Onyeka, who shot the video, told reporters. He spent over five months in detentions before the IOM freed him, but watched as fellow detainees died due to their brutal treatment.

The 25-year-old Nigerian entered Libya with the intention of crossing the Mediterranean Sea to get to Europe, where he had dreams of becoming a footballer. After being captured by Libyan authorities, he was held in a migrant prison alongside dozens of others in squalid conditions.

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