15 Nepalis rescued in Libya, four more waiting

Kathmandu, May 20

Fifteen Nepalis, who were trafficked to war-torn Libya, have been rescued and are now on the premises of International Organisation for Migration in Tripoli, the capital city of Libya.

According to a press release issued by the Embassy of Nepal in Egypt, which looks after Libya, IOM has been providing food and shelter to the rescued Nepalis. It will also provide them air tickets to return home.

The Embassy of Nepal in Cairo said it had issued travel documents for the Nepali nationals as the companies that recruited them had seized their passports and forced them to work without their consent.

The 15 Nepali migrants had been duped by agents promising salaries as high as $1,000, a month. But the Nepalis declined to work after finding that the salaries were much less than the promised amount, according to Deputy Chief of Mission at the Nepali Embassy in Cairo Sujan Bidari. After they wanted to return home, the employers locked them and assaulted them. “They then came in contact four months ago, and we began the process of repatriating them,” Bidari told THT from Cairo over phone.

Bidari said four more Nepalis were still awaiting rescue in Libiya. He said rescue efforts were delayed because they were based in a war-torn area and reaching out to them was very difficult. “We have asked them to stay safe and that they will be rescued as soon as the situation there improves,” he said. Members of the Nepali Army, who are currently deployed in Libya-based UN peacekeeping mission, have also helped rescue the 15 Nepalis. The embassy said it successfully rescued the Nepali nationals after making repeated attempts to free them from their employers.

The rescued Nepalis are currently undergoing medical check-up, and will be sent to Nepal after their exit papers are prepared.

The rescued Nepali nationals include Purna Bahadur Gurung, Ganesh Thapa Magar, Amrit Gurung, Bhuwan Acharya, Sanam Bishwakarma,   Buddhi Bahadur Adhiarki Chhetri, Krishna Koirala, Raju Bishwakarma, Gupta Bahadur BK, Raju Bista, Shekhar Kharel, Jayram Dhami, Ajay Kumar Chaudhary, Prakash Bishwakarma and Manohar Karki.

Meanwhile, seven Nepalis, who were earlier rescued with the help of the IOM in Libya, were sent home on May 7 after the Embassy of Nepal in Egypt issued their travel documents.

The seven Nepalis sent home after rescue are Anu Lama, Kiran Khadka, Siraj Raymajhi, Shubha Prasad Parajuli, Ravi Gurung, Premsil Tharu and Prem Lal Gautam.

Those seven Nepalis had informed tofficials at the Embassy of Nepal in Egypt that they were duped by agents who had assured they would be taken to Italy, but left them stranded in Libya.