M.T. v Libya
While travelling as a migrant from Ethiopia to Europe, M.T. (a pseudonym given to him to protect his identity) was trafficked, forcibly disappeared, tortured, held in appalling conditions, and forced to work in Libya. After finding his way to the UK, M.T. was granted asylum, and is seeking justice and reparation for what he endured.
M.T. was born in Eritrea in 1998. He fled to Ethiopia with his mother at the age of three following his father’s disappearance due to his alleged involvement with an opposition political group.
In Ethiopia, M.T. and his mother lived with a family for whom his mother worked as a housekeeper for around one year. When his mother stopped working for the family, M.T. continued to live with them and they raised him as their son. M.T.’s mother used to visit him once a month until she stopped visiting in 2010. To date M.T. does not know the whereabouts of his father or his mother, and does not know what happened to them.
In 2015, M.T. was taken by Ethiopian authorities to a camp during a crackdown on Eritreans. He then left for Europe with the help of people smugglers.
M.T.’s journey began in late November or early December 2015 in the back of a pickup truck, with a group of other migrants fleeing from Ethiopia. They travelled to Libya through Sudan and Chad in harrowing conditions, with limited water and food.
During the journey, as a form of punishment for having helped a fellow migrant, M.T. was subjected to a ‘mock execution’ by one of his captors. As a result of the gun being fired very close to his face, M.T. lost hearing in his right ear for some months and has suffered persistent tinnitus and intermittent pain in this ear.
In Libya, M.T. was held captive for around 8 months in various detention locations. During that time, he was frequently tortured, beaten with electric cables and rifle butts, and held in extremely poor conditions, with limited light, food, water, and toilet facilities. For some weeks, he was forced to work. M.T. had no access to medical care.
In the end, M.T. managed to escape and made his way to Italy on a boat. He was rescued in the Mediterranean as the boat was sinking, taken to Italy, and finally made his way to the UK via France.
Today, M.T. lives and works in the UK, but continues to suffer from symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and the physical symptoms referred to above.
ACTION FOR JUSTICE
- M.T. was granted asylum in the UK in November 2018.
- With the support of REDRESS and Lawyers for Justice in Libya (LFJL), M.T. has made a complaint to the UN Human Rights Committee in which he seeks reparation for the torture and other human rights violations he suffered in Libya.
Case name: M.T. v Libya
Court/Body: UN Human Rights Committee
Date filed: 17 November 2023
Current status: Case pending
Legal representative: REDRESS and LFJL