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Libya IS Hostages
Misrata
By Taha Zag
24 Oct 2016

Pro-Government forces in Sirte liberated a number of women and their children from Islamic State captivity, the women abductees were treated as sex slaves by IS militants and were brutally captured, abused, and raped.

The women are of African nationalities, three from Nigeria and the other 11 from Eritrea.

After freeing the women, the pro-government forces brought them back to Misrata city and were handed over to the Libyan military intelligence and were kept in a safe house in the outskirts of Misrata city.

These women have been staying with their husbands who work and live in the city.

One Nigerian woman spoke about how terrified they were after receiving information about the IS militants entering Sirte where they live.

The woman talked about the moment the IS militants came to her house, they took her husband away , she was pregnant at the time shortly after that, IS militants took her and all other women to another place, these women have been beaten, abused, raped and treated as sex slaves ever since.

The IS militants told those poor women to forget about their husbands, and told them that they are to be shared with other men, or face death if refused to do so.

This miserable life had been going on with no hope of escape or any sign of relief for months, until the day they heard the Libyan forces outside their prison telling them that they are coming for their rescue after taking their prisoners down.

After going through all these devastating times, now these women are in a safe house in the outskirts of Misrata.

The Libyan forces were able to free 24 foreign captives in the 600 Buildings area in the last few days.

Libyan forces are now battling for control of the Giza neighborhood, which would pave the way for the control of the coastal district of and the declaration of victory over IS in Sirte.

The pro-government forces are fighting on two fronts - the southern axis and the eastern axis - but they have now managed to surround IS militants, who are occupying a gradually shrinking residential area of the town.

Sirte has seen intense fighting in the last few months between government forces and IS group fighters, who gained a foothold in the country following the power struggle and security vacuum left in the wake of the downfall of Moammar Gadhafi's regime in 2011.

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Refugees of Tawergha
Tripoli, Libya
By Mustafa Fetouri
18 Apr 2016

Tawergha is a Libyan coastal town about 300 km west of the capital Tripoli. It used to be home to nearly 40 thousand people. After Muammar Gaddafi was toppled, thanks to the help of NATO, the militias of nearby Misrata (40 km west of Tawergha) forced the entire population of Tawergha out and completely destroyed the town.

Tawerghans are Libyan Sunni Muslims just like the rest of the population however they are black. The Misrata militias accused them of fighting for the Gaddafi regime. Since 2011 not a single Tawerghan has returned home. For the last five years they have been living in makeshift camps scattered around Libya. Four such camps, home to nearly 4000 people, are around Tripoli. These photos are of the airport road camp, home to more than 2000 men, women, & children.

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Italian Navy Rescues Refugees at Sea
Misrata
By fabrizio villa
11 Sep 2015

Video shot on a GoPro camera by a freelance photographer accompanying the Italian Navy on a rescue mission where 60 Italian Navymen rescues 998 immigrants from boats in the Mediterranean Sea just 30 km off the coast of Libya.
The men, women and children rescued from the smugglers' boat were from Syria, Eritrea, Mali, Palestine and Afghanistan.

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Migrant Boats Captured by Libyan Coas...
Misrata, Libya
By tom westcott
03 May 2015

The Libyan Coastguard captured four inflatable rubber boats carying over 400 migrants off the coast of Misrata on 3 May 2015. 

"They didn't rescue us, they caught us, they arrested us," said Suliman, an 18 year-old from Senegal. "For sure we would have made it to Europe because the boats were good, but the Libyans were wating for us at sea. They shot into the water to make us stop."

The migrants - mainly from sub-Saharan African countries, said they were told to remove their shoes and belts before being forced to board the heavily-armed tugboat from Misrata Port now frequently used by the Coastguard. They were taken back to Libya where they had all their possessions, including passports, money and jewellry, confiscated, 32 year-old Awal Yai from Senegal said. "I have nothing in the world now, only this dress I am wearing. They even took my earrings."

The men and women sat in groups before being put onto buses. They were not told where they were gping but a Libyan guard said that all the migrants were being transferred to Libya's already overcrowded migrant detention centres. 

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Captured migrants in Libya 01
Misrata, Libya
By tom westcott
03 May 2015

Migrants reach out to catch bottles of water and cartons of juice thrown to them from the shore by the Libyan authorities. They are amongst 400 sub-Saharan Africans captured in four inflatable dinghies off the coast of Libya. "They treat us like animals here - you saw how they threw the food and water to us in the boat," said Abubaker, aged 17, from Gambia.

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Captured migrants in Libya 02
Misrata, Libya
By tom westcott
03 May 2015

Migrants from sub-Saharan Africa captured by the Libyan Coastguard reach out for bread being handed from the shore. They have not eaten since early morning when they set sail in four inflatable boats, each packed with 95 people, from the coast near Tripoli

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Captured migrants in Libya 03
Misrata, Libya
By tom westcott
03 May 2015

Female migrants from Eritrea, brought ashore by the Libyan Coastguard which captured them at sea, hide their faces.

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Captured migrants in Libya 04
Misrata, Libya
By tom westcott
03 May 2015

Migrants from sub-Saharan Africa wait to be told to disembark from the Libyan Coastguard vessel which captured them in four inflatable dinghies. They have not yet been told that they will be transferred to already overcrowded migrant detention centres in Misrata and Tripoli.

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Captured migrants in Libya 05
Misrata, Libya
By tom westcott
03 May 2015

Migrants crowd on the bow of a Coastguard vessel which captured them on four inflatable boats off the coast of Libya

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Captured migrants in Libya 06
Misrata, Libya
By tom westcott
03 May 2015

Captured by the Libyan coastguard, Awal Yai, age 32, from Somalia waits with other migrants at Misrata port to be transferred to one of Libya's overcrowded detention centres. She sold everything she had to make the journey from Somalia to Libya.

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Europe-bound Migrants Held in Libyan ...
Misrata
By Mohamed Lagha
20 Apr 2015

Misrata, Libya
April 21, 2015

Dozens of men, women and children are held in deplorable conditions in a jail in Misrata, controlled by the security forces loyal to the Islamist Libyan government in Tripoli. The detainees who appear in this video, most of whom come from east African countries, were caught in Libya on their way to try to reach Europe. An office that controls immigration is deporting the detainees to their countries through their countries’ embassies in Tunisia. However, Somalian and Eritrean detainees cannot return because of the instability plaguing their countries. Some of them have been in this prison for five months.

An interviewed female detainee from Eritrea, who introduced herself as Yodit, said that she was arrested with her cousin and other immigrants in the Libyan desert as they were heading to Europe. The group had started their clandestine journey in Khartoum, Sudan. Yodit said that they spent one month on the road before being arrested. By the time of the interview, she had spent two weeks in custody and was worried that her family back home might think that she was dead. The woman, who appears to be in her twenties, also complained that the detention center is overcrowded and lacks proper ventilation.

Various shots of detainees.

TRANSCRIPT
Soundbite (Arabic/English, Woman) Yodit, Female Eritrean detainee

00:48 – 04:14

"Q: What is your name? [Arabic]

A: What? [Arabic]

Q: Your name. [Arabic]

A: Yodit.

Q: How long have you been here?

A: Just one week.

Q: One week?

A: Yeah.

Q: Where are you from?

A: From Eritrea.

Q: You came by… the desert?

A: Yeah, the desert.

Q: How exactly? Through which country?

A: By the Khartoum to the Libya desert. [UNINTELLIGIBLE] When [we] came here, they catch us.

Q: Where?

A: In the desert of Libya.

Q: Where?

A: In Libya, but the place exactly, what it’s called…. I don’t know.

Q: In the desert, or a gate?

A: Desert, desert.

Q: The desert?

A: Yeah.

Q: Is it near from here?

A: I think [it is] far.

Q: One hour? Two hours? How much time?

A: Four hours from here.

Q: And then what are you doing here? What did they tell you?

A: We want to travel to Europe. So they catch us, they arrest us… even before here, just one week another place, the place which kept us. We came also here one week. That means two weeks under arrest. So they… you see they are stand up all night here. The [UNINTELLIGIBLE] is bad It smells bad all night. There is no air. The place is bad, really. [UNINTELLIGIBLE]The condition is bad, seriously.

Q: What did they tell you? Did they tell you that they are going out? Did they call your embassy?

A: No. No phone. We families don’t know where we are.

Q: They didn’t call your families?

A: Yeah. Because we don’t have a phone here. So no one knows where they are. I don’t know. Maybe our families they think [we] die or something.

Q: You are here alone? You don’t have any family here?

A: She’s my cousin. So we are two.

Q: Now you are here for one week.

A: Here. But another place also one week. The way…. but one month is in the way in the desert. We are hungry, there is no water, there is no anything. We were about to die. But that is good, they save us and keep us here. But I don’t know [UNINTELLIGIBLE] about time I don’t know anything.

Q: Thank you.

A: You’re welcome. Thank you, too.”

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Troops Loyal to Libya Dawn Launch Off...
Sirte
By laura.lesevre
17 Mar 2015

March 17, 2015
Sirte, Libya

Islamist troops loyal to Libya Dawn, a self appointed government based in Tripoli, have been instructed to drive ISIS out of Sirte. The 166 Brigade and militias from Misrata began their offensive against ISIS in Sirte, a coastal city that used to be a stronghold of Muammar Gaddafi.

The allied Islamist fighters have not yet been able to enter the city despite launching an offensive on Saturday March 14, 2015. They claim that Gaddafi loyalists are in control of the city and are now fighting under the ISIS flag.

In this video Gian Micalessin, an Italian veteran war reporter with more than 30s years of experience in war journalism who has covered Libya since 2011 revolution, visits the front lines with the allied fighters.

A longer rough cut is available on request.

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Body of Killed Tunisian ISIS Commande...
Misrata
By Mohamed Lagha
17 Mar 2015

WARNING: GRAPHIC CONTENT

Misrata, Libya
March 17, 2015

Video shows the body of slain ISIS commander Ahmed al-Ruwaysi, also known as Abu Zakariya al-Tunisi, who was killed in Libya during clashes with forces from the Islamist Libya Dawn coalition near Sirte.

The identity of the dead body was confirmed by Ismail Shukri, a spokesperson for Libya Dawn.

An obituary published by ISIS mentioned that Ruwaysi had planned and carried out the assassinations of two prominent Tunisian leftist activists, Mohammed Brahmi and Chokri Belaid.

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Car Bomb Targets Anti-ISIS Task Force...
Misrata
By Bujezia
15 Mar 2015

March 15, 2015
Misrata, Libya

In a suburb of Misrata, Libya's third largest city and 187km east of Tripoli, a car bomb exploded in front of a camp of faction calling itself the 166 Battalion. According to local sources, one person was killed and several others were wounded. The 166 Battalion has been tasked with fighting ISIS in Sirte, where clashes broke out on Saturday 14 March. Video shows the aftermath of the car bomb which went off late on Sunday night.

Misrata is the power base of the Libya Dawn umbrella group which seized Tripoli in August, forcing the internationally recognized government east to Tobruk.

A group with ties to ISIS also claimed responsibility for several other high profile attacks, including that on the Corinthia Hotel in which six foreigners were killed. They have promised to retaliate with further violence if they continue to be attacked.

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Libya prisoners
Misrata
By Bujezia
12 Mar 2015

On Thursday 12 March the Misrata prison released 19 prisoners of war who had been detained since the fall of Gaddafi in 2011. They are the first to be released after completing their sentences. The Minister of Justice of the opposition government based in Tripoli have visited the prison and allowed relatives and friends to visit the prisoners.

The minister also toured the prison and talked to a number of prisoners about their living conditions, inquiring into their health and whether any human rights abuses occurred. Just back from Geneva, he agreed to support humanitarian missions to improve prison conditions and prevent any human rights violations or abuses toward to the prisoners.

soundbite (Arabic)
Mostafa Al-Gleib, Minister of Justice in Tripoli: We all have to support each other and stand by justice in order to enforce justice and empower its ability to punish criminals, help victims and provide equality and enforce justice. This is an honest demand and it’s a fundamental one for all the patriots and free men of Libya.
soundbite (Arabic)
Abdulrahman Al-Shakshak, Head of the Local Council in Tawrgh: We're working together for the greater good and, as you know, the situation in Libya dictates that we move in all directions. When we were in Geneva, I met with the Misrata local council and we agreed to allow visits to prisoners to overview their situations and let people know the conditions they are living in.

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Taouergas: Damned Souls of the Libyan...
Janzur, Tripoli
By Melanie Wenger
05 Oct 2012

Eïma is dreaming to go back to her city. In february, some of the Taouerga people went out of the camp to demonstrate and ask for their city back, but the militias opened fire on the demonstrators. Taouerga people are still considered as pro-Gaddafi and therefore discriminated.

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Taouergas: Damned Souls of the Libyan...
Janzour, Libya
By Melanie Wenger
28 Sep 2012

Taouerga city is situated 30km from Misrata, it was the city of the black-skin Libyans, off-springs of the last slaves. The fight between the two cities goes way back, before the revolution. But since then, Taouergas are held responsible for helping the Gaddafi’s militias during the revolution against Misrata. Since the 8th of August 2011, the Misrata militias control the ghost city, burned to the ground and empty. Nobody is allowed in, even journalists. At the entrance, a board announces the «New Misrata». We made this picture by entering covertly, finally chased by militias, who arrested some of our colleagues a few months ago.

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Taouergas: Damned Souls of the Libyan...
Taouerga, Libya
By Melanie Wenger
28 Sep 2012

The city of Taouerga is now a ghost city hanted by Misrati militias. All burned and robbed, only some walls are still standing, showing the testimony of hatred. Called now the New Misrata, the city is not easy to access, totally controlled, and no journalist is allowed.

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Taouergas: Damned Souls of the Libyan...
Tripoli, Libya
By Melanie Wenger
26 Sep 2012

These ladies, gathered in a room enlightened by one and only window, tell the story of the exodus, as they look at some pictures of their city. A lot of them refuse to be seen, for fear of retaliation by the Misratis.

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Taouergas: Damned Souls of the Libyan...
Janzur, Libya
By Melanie Wenger
26 Sep 2012

Some men leave the camp to go to work and provide for their family. A few trucks come into the camp in the morning, using cheap workforce for construction sites. But some of them get abducted outside. According to the chief of Misrata militias, they got arrested and are supposed to be in prison. No trace was found of the majority of them.

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Our Contributor In Syria - Samples Fr...
Syria
By Editor's Picks
28 Jul 2012

From our contributor, currently on the ground in Syria, these photos depict Libyan youth throughout the revolution and the aftermath of violence in Syria. Our contributor is able to get HD footage for feature stories, video packages, or documentary features as well as high quality photos from the front lines.

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Ghost Town Tawergha City (1-24)
Misrata, Libya
By Karim Mostafa
26 Feb 2012

2011 meant big changes for Libya. After forty years in power, former dictator Muammar Gaddafi was ousted from power. But it took an ugly war, and Libyans are now facing the challenge of rebuilding and unifying their country. Among those suffering the consequences are the population of Tawergha, a coastal city of 30,000 inhabitants. During the war, many Tawerghans fought alongside Gaddafi’s forces. Many men were part of laying siege on the neighbouring Misrata, a city that suffered heavily during the months of fighting. When the war was nearing its end, Tawergha was captured by rebel groups from Misrata, who expelled the population and destroyed the houses. The inhabitants were forced to flee; today, many men are imprisoned while women, children and others are dispersed in refugee camps across the country. What will happen to them? The Tawerghans want to return to their homes, but the rebels guarding the city say that they can never come back.

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Tawergha Houses Looted (3-24)
Tawergha, Misrata, Libya
By Karim Mostafa
26 Feb 2012

2011 meant big changes for Libya. After forty years in power, former dictator Muammar Gaddafi was ousted from power. But it took an ugly war, and Libyans are now facing the challenge of rebuilding and unifying their country. Among those suffering the consequences are the population of Tawergha, a coastal city of 30,000 inhabitants. During the war, many Tawerghans fought alongside Gaddafi’s forces. Many men were part of laying siege on the neighbouring Misrata, a city that suffered heavily during the months of fighting. When the war was nearing its end, Tawergha was captured by rebel groups from Misrata, who expelled the population and destroyed the houses. The inhabitants were forced to flee; today, many men are imprisoned while women, children and others are dispersed in refugee camps across the country. What will happen to them? The Tawerghans want to return to their homes, but the rebels guarding the city say that they can never come back.

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Rebel In Destroyed House Misrata (24-24)
Misrata, Tawergha, Libya
By Karim Mostafa
23 Feb 2012

2011 meant big changes for Libya. After forty years in power, former dictator Muammar Gaddafi was ousted from power. But it took an ugly war, and Libyans are now facing the challenge of rebuilding and unifying their country. Among those suffering the consequences are the population of Tawergha, a coastal city of 30,000 inhabitants. During the war, many Tawerghans fought alongside Gaddafi’s forces. Many men were part of laying siege on the neighbouring Misrata, a city that suffered heavily during the months of fighting. When the war was nearing its end, Tawergha was captured by rebel groups from Misrata, who expelled the population and destroyed the houses. The inhabitants were forced to flee; today, many men are imprisoned while women, children and others are dispersed in refugee camps across the country. What will happen to them? The Tawerghans want to return to their homes, but the rebels guarding the city say that they can never come back.

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Wounded Prisoner (23-24)
Misrata, Tawergha, Libya
By Karim Mostafa
23 Feb 2012

2011 meant big changes for Libya. After forty years in power, former dictator Muammar Gaddafi was ousted from power. But it took an ugly war, and Libyans are now facing the challenge of rebuilding and unifying their country. Among those suffering the consequences are the population of Tawergha, a coastal city of 30,000 inhabitants. During the war, many Tawerghans fought alongside Gaddafi’s forces. Many men were part of laying siege on the neighbouring Misrata, a city that suffered heavily during the months of fighting. When the war was nearing its end, Tawergha was captured by rebel groups from Misrata, who expelled the population and destroyed the houses. The inhabitants were forced to flee; today, many men are imprisoned while women, children and others are dispersed in refugee camps across the country. What will happen to them? The Tawerghans want to return to their homes, but the rebels guarding the city say that they can never come back.

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Wounded Prisoner (21-24)
Misrata, Libyen
By Karim Mostafa
23 Feb 2012

2011 meant big changes for Libya. After forty years in power, former dictator Muammar Gaddafi was ousted from power. But it took an ugly war, and Libyans are now facing the challenge of rebuilding and unifying their country. Among those suffering the consequences are the population of Tawergha, a coastal city of 30,000 inhabitants. During the war, many Tawerghans fought alongside Gaddafi’s forces. Many men were part of laying siege on the neighbouring Misrata, a city that suffered heavily during the months of fighting. When the war was nearing its end, Tawergha was captured by rebel groups from Misrata, who expelled the population and destroyed the houses. The inhabitants were forced to flee; today, many men are imprisoned while women, children and others are dispersed in refugee camps across the country. What will happen to them? The Tawerghans want to return to their homes, but the rebels guarding the city say that they can never come back.

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Detained Milad Mohammad Yousef From T...
Misrata, Libyen
By Karim Mostafa
23 Feb 2012

2011 meant big changes for Libya. After forty years in power, former dictator Muammar Gaddafi was ousted from power. But it took an ugly war, and Libyans are now facing the challenge of rebuilding and unifying their country. Among those suffering the consequences are the population of Tawergha, a coastal city of 30,000 inhabitants. During the war, many Tawerghans fought alongside Gaddafi’s forces. Many men were part of laying siege on the neighbouring Misrata, a city that suffered heavily during the months of fighting. When the war was nearing its end, Tawergha was captured by rebel groups from Misrata, who expelled the population and destroyed the houses. The inhabitants were forced to flee; today, many men are imprisoned while women, children and others are dispersed in refugee camps across the country. What will happen to them? The Tawerghans want to return to their homes, but the rebels guarding the city say that they can never come back.

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Libya (4 of 40)
Misrata, Libya
By George Henton
13 Jun 2011

A volunteer uncovers an anti-personnel mine in a minefield in a large open area just east of Misrata, Libya, 13 June 2011. The field, initially laid to protect artillery pieces belonging to forces loyal to Muammar Gaddafi, was discovered by rebels when an unfortunate camel detonated one of the mines. GEORGE HENTON.