Libya issues arrest warrants for over 200 alleged migrant traffickers

The arrest warrants include accusations of human trafficking, torture, murder and rape

Libya has issued 205 arrest warrants for Libyans and foreigners suspected of being involved in a smuggling network for migrants heading to Europe.

The arrest warrants include accusations of human trafficking, torture, murder and rape.

“We have 205 arrest warrants for people (involved in) organising immigration operations, human trafficking, (cases) of torture, murder and rape,” said Seddik al-Sour, the director of the attorney general’s investigations office.

He said the network included members of the security services, migrant detention camp leaders, and officials from African embassies in Libya.

His office had detected a direct link between smugglers and the Islamic State group, he added.

Libya has been in turmoil since the fall of Moamer Kadhafi’s regime in 2011, and has become a hub for hundreds of thousands of sub-Saharan African migrants trying to reach Europe by sea.

The oil-rich country ruled by a web of militias and two rival authorities has routinely been criticised for abuses against migrants.

The investigations into smuggling networks are being carried out in conjunction with the Italian prosecutor's office after a joint unit - pooling intelligence, coastguard and justice resources - was set up last year by the two countries.

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