Earlier this month, CNN published cellphone and hidden-camera footage from what appeared to be “slave auctions” conducted in Libya. The images, including video obtained by undercover CNN journalists, served as a jolt to the international community: They showed what seemed to be West African migrants being haggled over as “merchandise” by smugglers operating in what has become a haven for illicit trafficking networks.
“Does anybody need a digger? This is a digger, a big strong man, he’ll dig,” said a salesman in camouflage gear. “What am I bid, what am I bid?”
Buyers respond with a round of prices. “Within minutes it is all over and the men, utterly resigned to their fate, are being handed over to their new ‘masters,’” reported CNN.