International trafficking rings have been very active in recruiting aspirant migrants to Europe with the promise of facilitating their movement through the north African coast
Bangladesh Civil Society for Migrants (BCSM) urged the government of Bangladesh to press the Libyan government to bring the perpetrators of the recent killing of 26 Bangladeshis in the country to justice, in a statement on Saturday.
The statement was jointly signed by Dr C R Abrar, chair of BCSM and Syed Saiful Haque, co-chair of the organisation.
BCSM, a coalition of organisations working on migrants' rights in Bangladesh is deeply concerned about the recent killings of Bangladeshis in Mizdha, closed to Tripoli, the capital city of Libya.
"We appreciate the Tripoli government's issuance of arrest warrants for the suspected killers. We demand strong follow up by the Bangladesh embassy on the process of prosecution of the perpetrators and the meting out of stern punishment," read the statement.
BCSM noted with deep regret that for quite a long time international human smugglers and traffickers – and their Bangladeshi counterparts – have been very active in recruiting aspirant migrants to Europe with the promise of facilitating their movement through the north African coast.
"To reach the final destination the migrants are made to pass through the rocky coast of Tripoli and board inflatable dinghies to cross the Mediterranean Sea over to Europe. The last couple of months have seen more than 700 Bangladeshis apprehended by Libyan coastguards and sent to detention camps where they are subjected to torture and abuse," mentioned the statement.
"Human smugglers and traffickers to Europe, in almost all cases, use air routes to take the aspirant migrants from Bangladesh. We demand that the home ministry, particularly the immigration police and other law enforcement agencies be more vigilant and accountable. They need to establish a system of rigorous scrutiny of those who depart for North African countries with a travel visa and who do not have a prior travel record," read the statement.
"We also demand that the Ministry of Expatriates' Welfare and Overseas Employment collect information from those who attempted to cross to Europe in the past – who were subsequently apprehended and returned to Bangladesh – and identify the dalals, travel agencies, and unscrupulous recruiting agencies who facilitated their travel pass and take stern action under the Overseas Employment and Migrants' Act, 2013," it added.
BCSM urged the Ministry of Home Affairs to ensure judicious and effective prosecution of those who have been so far charged under the Prevention and Suppression of Human Trafficking Act, 2012.
"We also demand the repatriation of Bangladeshis who are still in detention camps and have faced major abuses after being apprehended by Libyan coast guards," read the release.