Hundreds of migrants on their way to Europe were held in the Zawiya detention center in Libya where they faced systematic atrocities and physical and psychological torture.
Mohammed Condè, Hameda Ahmed and Mahmoud Ashuia are accused of having run the center. The accused used the same procedure for their victims: photographs of the detainees were sent to their families along with a request for ransom. Those whose families paid were freed, whereas the others were killed or sold to human traffickers.
Condè, Ahmed and Ashuia were recognized in Messina by migrants that passed through the detention center in July 2019. Following their arrest, the accused are in custody.
The accused were arrested in September 2019 in Messina (Sicily), in the context of the ongoing investigations of the Office of the Prosecutor of Agrigento and the Anti-mafia Division of Palermo, following a formal complaint filed by victims who arrived in Italy through the Mediterranean migration routes.
On 28 May 2020, Condè, Ahmed and Ashuia were sentenced to 20 years in prison for kidnapping, torture and human trafficking.