UN Security Council sanctions six over human trafficking in Libya | News | DW | 08.06.2018
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UN Security Council sanctions six over human trafficking in Libya

The UN Security Council has placed a global asset freeze and travel ban on the smugglers and traffickers. The Council said Libya's authorities were in favor of the sanctions and want more names added to the list.

The United Nations Security Council on Thursday sanctioned six people over human trafficking and smuggling of migrants in Libya.

The move came after Russia lifted a hold it had set on the request for action against the individuals.

Read more: Amnesty: EU, others 'know perfectly well' about Libya's collusion with people smugglers

Human trafficking in Libya was brought to the forefront last year when footage broadcast on CNN appeared to show African migrants in Libya being auctioned off as slaves for as little as $400 (€340).

The Netherlands, backed by France, Germany, Britain and the United States, asked the 15-member council's Libya sanctions committee to place a global asset freeze and travel ban on the six people last month.

The six individuals are Ermias Ghermay, Fitiwi Abdelrazak, Ahmad Oumar Al-Dabbashi, Mus'ab Abu-Qarin, Mohammed Kachlaf and Abd Al Rahman Al-Milad.

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More names wanted

In a statement, the Netherlands said Libya's authorities were also in favor of the sanctions and would like to see more names added to the list.

"They know that these criminal networks are seriously destabilizing the country," Dutch Foreign Minister Stef Blok said.

Under the UN sanctions regime set up in 2011, the committee has the power to sanction people involved in the "commission of serious human rights abuses against persons in Libya."

"Last fall, images of migrants being sold as slaves in Libya shocked our conscience, and the Security Council vowed to take action. Today's sanctions send a strong message that the international community is united in seeking accountability for perpetrators of human trafficking and smuggling," said US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley in a statement.

People smugglers in Libya have sent hundreds of thousands of migrants by sea to Europe, mainly Italy, since 2014. Thousands have died during the voyages.

law/bw (AFP, AP, dpa, Reuters)

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