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HomeNewsMinistry of Foreign Affairs advises Ghanaians not to embark on journey through...

Ministry of Foreign Affairs advises Ghanaians not to embark on journey through illegal routes

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The Ghana Embassy in Tripoli, Libya, is extending consular services to at least 20 Ghanaians in separate prisons for various crimes.

A press release from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration (MoFARI) stated “The attention of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration has been drawn to a story with the headline ‘Ghanaian Prisoners in Libya Cry for Help’ published on Monday, 12 September 2022 edition of The Chronicle newspaper.”

The suspects were arrested for various crimes, including operating brothels, consumption of alcohol in public, drug peddling and use, non-possession of valid travel documents (passport), as well as attempts to illegally cross to Europe, through the Mediterranean Sea.

“These offences are felonies in the Libyan 1956 Penal Code, which could attract death sentences, life imprisonments, and varying terms of imprisonment, depending on the severity of the crimes. However, in the specific case of alcohol consumption, offenders could receive a minimum of three years and a maximum of four years. Also, persons arrested for the offences mentioned, and who in addition do not have valid passports and residence permits are considered to have committed a civil offence and could receive an extra term not exceeding one year, as punishment,” it added.

According to the release, “although a number of our convicted nationals would claim to have completed serving their prison sentences, our checks indicate that there were instances where some of them were caught drunk at brothels and without necessary documentation and could thus be serving multiple sentences longer than what they had anticipated,” it said.

“From experience, some Ghanaians sentenced in prisons or detention centres sometimes, though much aware of their prison terms, try to court sympathy by making atrocious audio recordings with the hope of securing a possible release or deportation, and thereby avoid the dire conditions in Libyan prisons and detention centres,” it added.

The release said Ghana’s mission in Tripoli continues to make strenuous efforts to ascertain official information from the relevant Libyan authorities on the condition of our compatriots under detention across Libya and the actual sentences they are serving.

“These engagements with Libyan prison authorities to facilitate the release of our compatriots go as far back as in May 2021, relative to those in their custody who claimed to have finished serving their sentences. Our mission in Tripoli also continues to make effort to obtain an updated list of Ghanaian nationals in Libyan prisons from the host Ministry of Justice, through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and as and when we obtain this information, we always make it available to the families of these prisoners. Our mission has already scheduled a visit to prisons in Misrata to further investigate and ascertain the veracity of the claims of overstay and alleged deaths,” it said.

The release added that in July, this year, our Mission in Tripoli received information from the Libyan authorities about the deportation of 14 Ghanaian nationals who had finished serving their prison sentences. Processes are underway to facilitate their repatriation through the International Organization for Migration (IOM). It is not clear whether any of the said 30 Ghanaians referenced in the said publication include these 14.

“The Ministry takes this opportunity to urge the general public to volunteer specific information to the Ministry to make it easier for the extension of the much-needed consular assistance, as it has always done. Any further information on the said inmates in Misrata would be appreciated to aid our investigations and for the necessary action to be taken,” it added.

The Ministry further wishes to advise travelling Ghanaians to desist from embarking on these perilous journeys via illegal routes to various parts of the world, since this almost always comes with dreadful consequences.

Joyce Adwoa Animia Ocran, ISD



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