The Libyan Ambassador to Ghana Sallah Koni Mustafa has accused the media of exaggerating reports of slave trade in Libya.
According to him, although the North African nation has some human rights challenges, the reports only appear to highlight the ills of the country neglecting the positive stories.
Footage of men being auctioned off as slaves in Libya has been met with outrage and the UN Secretary-General has called on the international community to “unite in fighting this scourge”.
The horrible images show some migrants being sold for $400 while others are tortured to death by individuals in Libyan military wears.
In the grainy mobile footage, unidentified men are offered up as a group of “big strong boys for farm work”.
The film was obtained by CNN journalists, who later witnessed another sale of a dozen men in a courtyard outside the country’s capital, Tripoli.
After the footage emerged, protests erupted in Paris and other cities, while Libyans expressed solidarity with the victims with the hashtag #LibyansAgainstSlavery.
Speaking in an exclusive interview with Starr News’ Atiewin Mbillah-Lawson Wednesday, Mr. Koni Mustafa said the Libyan authorities will investigate and punish whoever is involved in the human trade.
“Our government has started investigations into the issue, the credibility of these reports and those behind it, those involved so that they will be prosecuted and they will be punished accordingly. The media reportage and the exaggerations thereafter are not needed,” he noted.
He continued: “We have always said that Libya is an African country, Libyans are not racists, Libya is Africa and Libyans are Africans. Why is it that the media is always narrowing its scope. For instance, there are thousands of people who are currently working in Libya, who are gainfully employed in Libya working in dignity without any form of harassment but the media is not reporting that”.