Foreign Affairs Minister, Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey, has disclosed that some of the Ghanaian detainees in Libya were forced to pay various amounts before they were released.
According to her, some of them paid as much as GHc5, 000 before they were discharged.
“Some family members of the Ghanaian detainees have had to pay ransoms, sometimes as much as GHc5, 000 to secure their release. It is possible that those detainees whose families could not mobilize resources to pay the ransom had been sold off,” she told Parliament on Thursday on the back of the repatriation of some 127 Ghanaians from Libya.
These Ghanaians and some other black Africans were reported to have been subjected to inhumane treatment after giving away their life’s earnings and making torturous journeys through the Sahara hoping to make it big in Europe.
The reports also suggest that, some of the African migrants in Libya were being sold into slavery; although the government has since said that no Ghanaian was involved.
Briefing Parliament on the matter, Ayorkor Botchwey said Ghana’s mission in Libya will soon be re-opened to properly monitor the situation in that country following recent reports of slave auctions.
Ghana’s mission in Malta currently has concurrent accreditation for Libya following the closure of Ghana’s mission there some years ago.
“…Arrangements are now underway to reopen the Ghana mission in Tripoli, so that the plight of our nationals could be better monitored, their rights protected, and their repatriation made more safe and efficient,” the Minister added.
Ghanaian detainees return home penniless
The 127 Ghanaian detainees returned on Thursday after years in Libya.
One of them who recounted his experience to Citi News‘ Caleb Kudah, complained that they spent as much as 3,000 dollars, but returned with nothing except with dehumanizing experiences from their fellow human beings in a foreign land.