(CNN) Three men stormed a factory in Tripoli, doused a Nigerian worker in petrol, and set him on fire, according to a statement by the Libyan interior ministry, in a new reported attack on migrants in the north African country.
The United Nations has described the man’s death “another senseless crime against migrants in the country.”
A statement by Tripoli’s interior ministry on Wednesday said the suspects — all Libyan nationals — had been detained for the attack on the man, who has not been named.
The ministry cited witness testimony that described the men storming the factory and setting the Nigerian man on fire.
“We are horrified by the killing of a Nigerian migrant worker in Tripoli, #Libya by three men yesterday. The young man was burned alive, in yet again another senseless crime against migrants in the country,” tweeted Federico Soda, head of the UN’s International Organization of Migration mission in Libya. “Those responsible must be held to account.”
War-torn Libya has repeatedly been accused of being a hostile environment for migrants and refugees, many of whom pass through the country in an attempt to reach safer shores in Europe.
Many of these migrants are intercepted by European authorities and returned to Libya.
Last month, Amnesty International released a report detailing “horrific cycles of abuses” of migrants in Libya, including unlawful killings, enforced disappearances, torture, and rape.
The rights group says that the coronavirus pandemic has exacerbated the abuse.
“Instead of being protected, they are met with a catalogue of appalling human rights abuses and now unfairly for the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic on deeply racist and xenophobic grounds,” said Diana Eltahawy, the rights group’s Deputy Regional Director for the Middle East and North Africa said in the report.
“Despite this, even in 2020 the EU and its member states continue to implement policies trapping tens of thousands of men, women and children in a vicious cycle of abuse, showing callous disregard for people’s lives and dignity.”
In August, over 45 migrants died in a shipwreck off of the Libyan coast. More than 7,000 people making the perilous journey have been returned to Libya in 2020, according to the UN Refugee Agency.
Thousands of these are believed to end up in detention centers in parts of Libya controlled by the internationally-recognized government in Tripoli.
In 2017, a CNN team witnessed a dozen men being sold in a slave auction in Libya, which opened an investigation into the slave markets.