Tariku Asefa v Libya

While transiting (migrating) through Libya on his journey to Europe, after escaping from Sudan, Tariku was abducted and held captive for over a year. He was tortured and forced to work. After his release he came to the UK and, having been granted asylum, is now seeing redress for what he endured.


Tariku was born in Eritrea in 1991. His mother died when he was very young, and his father was persecuted due to his religious beliefs. When Tariku was approximately three years old, he and his father fled to Ethiopia.

In 2000, Tariku and his father were forcibly returned to Eritrea, where his father was arrested and imprisoned. Tariku’s father managed to escape and, in 2003, the two fled to Sudan.

In 2010, Tariku’s father was arrested by the Sudanese police for living there illegally and was handed over to Eritrean authorities. Tariku has never seen or heard from his father again.

In 2014, a friend of Tariku’s father helped Tariku escape Sudan by paying people smugglers to get him to the UK via Libya and Italy.

Whilst on the way to Libya, in a crowded lorry with limited water and food, their group was robbed by armed men.

After reaching Libya, Tariku and the others on board the lorries were captured by a different group of unidentified armed men. Tariku and the others were then brought to a prison-like compound in or near Benghazi.

Tariku was held captive from May 2014 until June or July 2015. During that time, he was regularly tortured and held in extremely poor conditions with limited access to food, water and toilet facilities. The torture was often combined with demands for money, and he was told that he would only be released if he paid.

He was not given any medical treatment for his injuries.

While captive, Tariku was also forced at gun point to work physically demanding jobs, for which he understands the captors were paid. This forced labour means that he was also a victim of trafficking.

After Tariku’s father’s friend was able to pay the captors, Tariku was released. He continued his journey to the UK via Libya, Italy and France.

Today, Tariku suffers from PTSD and requires treatment for the medical conditions caused by the human rights violations he endured.

During the process of seeking asylum in the UK, the UK authorities accepted that Tariku was a victim of torture, trafficking, and forced labour.


  • Tariku was granted asylum in the UK in September 2022.
  • With the support of REDRESS and Lawyers for Justice in Libya (LFJL), Tariku has made a complaint to the UN Human Rights Committee in which he is seeking reparations for the exploitation and torture he suffered in Libya.


Case name: Tariku Asefa v Libya

Court name: UN Human Rights Committee

Legal representation: REDRESS and LFJL

Dated filed: 16 June 2021