African migrants fleeing persecution or seeking opportunity often end up in Libya, where they are tortured and trafficked. Many try to escape to Europe, only to be intercepted at sea and returned to Libya. On this episode of Reveal, we trace their journey and explore how Europe’s immigration policy is helping Libyan warlords and putting migrants at risk. This episode was originally broadcast on May 19, 2018.
In the first segment, reporter Raphaël Krafft takes us to the open waters off the coast of Libya, where a small boat carrying migrants is trying to flee the country. The boat is filled beyond capacity and starts to take on water and sink. A rescue ship run by nongovernmental organizations from Europe is poised to help, but a coast guard boat from Libya intervenes, creating a standoff at sea.
Next, we learn why so many migrants – mostly from Africa – end up trapped in Libya and about the conditions they face when they’re there. Krafft meets a young Nigerian man named Osaze Sunday, who was held for ransom and trafficked in Libya before attempting to escape by boat to Italy.