BWI condemns detention and abuse of Egyptian workers in Libya

BWI strongly condemned the kidnapping, detention and abuse of a large group of Egyptian migrant workers reportedly in the hands of militias allied with Libya’s UN-recognised administration. 

BWI General Secretary Ambet Yuson called it a gross violation of international law, labour conventions and agreements, particularly human rights law obligations on the prohibition of torture, inhumane and degrading treatment or punishment.

The global union is calling for an immediate and impartial investigation of the incident to hold all those responsible accountable and prevent similar cases from happening again in the future.  

“We condemn in the strongest possible terms the detention and mistreatment of Egyptian migrant workers in blatant violation of many international human rights and labour conventions and agreements. We call for a swift and impartial investigation to bring the perpetrators to justice. The security crisis in the Libyan territory requires the strongest protection measures for migrant and local workers. Attacks on workers in Libyan lands must stop,” Yuson said. 


Last week, different news agencies reported that numerous photos went viral in Egypt’s social media outlets showing a number of Egyptian migrant workers bound in chains with apparent torture marks on their backs in the western city of Tarhuna. The said photos sparked massive outrage in Egypt.

“We lived through the horror and felt we could die at any moment,” said an unnamed Egyptian construction worker. 

The United Nations has raised its concerns over the incident, saying it represents a possible violation of international law.