Scared Bangladeshi migrants 'abandoned' in Libya

Scared Bangladeshi migrants 'abandoned' in Libya

There are about 60,000 Bangladeshis working in the riot-hit state, mostly low-paid contract workers in the construction industry, and the impoverished South Asian country has said it has no immediate plans to bring them home.

Kabir Hossain, 24, told AFP by telephone that he had been trapped in a Libyan desert construction camp where he worked for a foreign engineering group.

"We were trapped in the desert camp in Raslanuf Sakania, 400 kilometres from Benghazi, since the violence broke out," Hossain told AFP on a scratchy mobile-phone connection.
He said they were then moved out by his employer before being "abandoned in the middle of road".

"They told us we would have to find our own way out of the country," he said.
Hossain said he was left in a group of 17, which then split up, and that he had since found shelter in a house in a desert settlement with seven of his colleagues.

"The protesters shoot people on sight, it's not safe to go out. We don't have food and money. We are almost starving. Nobody can imagine how dangerous the situation is," he said.

"Some of us tried to call our embassy (in Tripoli) for help, but they have not helped. Now they do not answer our phone calls.

"The other embassies are prompt in helping their migrants and evacuating them, but our embassy doesn't even bother to give us any sympathy," he said.

A Bangladeshi charity, which is a member of the Hong Kong-based International Migrant Alliance, said it had unconfirmed reports that more than 100 Bangladeshi workers have been abandoned in oil-rich Libya.

"Wednesday night I spoke with a group of 41 workers who have taken shelter in a warehouse. They did not have much food. They were very concerned about their security," Anisur Rahman Khan, coordinator of the charity, told AFP