O., a victim of torture and labour exploitation in Libya
O. left his country in late 2017 intending to go to Europe via Libya. Before leaving, he lived in the city of N’Djamena with his mother, three sisters and four nephews. He was the primary caretaker ever since his father passed away. To provide for his family, O. traded motorbikes between Chad and Nigeria. This business also helped him pay for his migration journey.
A Sudanese smuggler transported him from Sabha and sold him in Bani Walid to an armed group belonging to his network.
The armed group demanded the payment of a ransom for all the persons in the group that were sold to them. To intimidate them they fired a bullet into the foot of a migrant. They asked O. to pay USD 3300, which neither he nor his family had. The armed group members started torturing him when he refused to contact his family, saying he had no contact with them. He was stabbed in the thigh and locked naked in an air-conditioned room until the next morning when he was tortured again. This lasted for a week.
Afterwards, O. was taken back to another cell where he received only one piece of bread a day and a few sips of water twice a day for 2 months. O. didn't think he was going to survive. Unable to continue, he decided to call his mother. His mother ended up selling the family's home and sent USD 2500 to the kidnappers to save O.’s life.
After his release, the same kidnappers took him to the city of Zawiya in Tripoli. He was taken to a camp with other migrants, including Sudanese and Chadians. One day, a Libyan man came to the camp to look for a person to work at his house for a salary. O. volunteered and left the camp with him. When O. arrived at his home, they agreed on a salary of USD 150 per month, in exchange for O. taking care of his gardens and cows. After a month of work, O. tried to claim his salary, his employer did not pay him. After 3 months, he still had not received anything. At this point, he realized that his employer did not have any intention of paying him and he had no intention of letting him go, as O. was locked in the property at all times.
One day, when his employer left the property, O. jumped the wall of the house and escaped. He returned to his fellows in the camp, who advise him against working for a monthly salary because no one would pay him. Subsequently, he started working as a dayworker. Having saved a bit of money, he tried to cross the Mediterranean to reach Europe but was caught by the police and imprisoned for two months. After his release, he returned to working as dayworker. After staying one more month in Libya, O. decided to move to Algeria, due to the deteriorating security in Libya. After 5 days at the Algerian border, he was arrested by the police and subsequently deported to the Niger.