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5 December, 2017 00:00 00 AM
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‘Slave auctions’ in Libya

‘No presence of any Bangladeshi’

DIPLOMATIC CORRESPONDENT

There is no presence of Bangladeshi nationals in the ‘slave auctions’ in Libya, an issue that is being highlighted in international media, but denied by the government of the troubled African country. “No, there is no Bangladeshi,” Mahmoud M El Sallabi, chargé d'affaires of the Libyan Embassy in Dhaka, told a press conference on the premises of the Libyan Embassy, in response to a question. The briefing was organised to apprise journalists about the alleged selling of people as slaves that caused a stir in the international domain. The Libyan diplomat also said that his country is ready to welcome Bangladeshis to work in the government offices and hospitals.

But a senior official concerned of the Foreign Ministry told The Independent that the ban on visiting and sending Bangladeshi workers to Libya remains in place given the turbulent situation in the north African nation.

On the accusation regarding ‘slave trade’, the Libyan envoy said that the reports on international media are inaccurate and contemned, what he described as propaganda against his country. “The information whatever presented by news

report about selling and purchasing of human beings of African origin is inaccurate,” he said. In fact, he added, “It is a bargaining to smuggle them to their final destination (Europe) as migrants, not slaves, and the bargaining was the cost of their transportation, not for their purpose of slavery.”

Sallabi, however, said that the government of Libya has immediately asked the competent authorities to start a comprehensive investigation into the allegations and that an investigation is going on.

Any organisations including the United Nations can conduct investigations in this regard, he told a questioner.

About the resumption of the recruitment of Bangladeshi workers in Libya, the envoy said that there are job opportunities in government offices and hospitals and that they will be well looked after.

While appreciating the Bangladesh government’s decision to stop sending people to the war-torn country, he requested Dhaka to be more cooperative in this regard.

To a question, he could not state the number of Bangladeshis living in Libya at present. According to different sources, an estimated 20,000 Bangladeshis are still living in Libya.

 

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Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman

Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman
Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

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