The Bani Walid transit camp, located in the town of Bani Walid, in northwest Libya is a detention center where migrants on their way to Europe suffer violence and extremely severe abuse for months. Matammud was the Director of the center.
He and his associates would call relatives of the detainees on the phone, threatening to kill them if the “price of the transport” (effectively a bribe) was not paid.
During Matammud’s trial, witnesses described the horrors and violent abuses they suffered, such as physical and mental violence, sexual abuse, horrendous torture and cruel punishments. Matammud is also accused of having personally raped women, including minors.
On 26 September 2016, Matammud was arrested in a migrant center in Milan after he was recognized a few days earlier by other asylum seekers. Several of his victims filed a complaint for the abuses they suffered in the Bani Walid transit camp. Specifically, the complaint concerned kidnapping for ransom and rape.
Matammud was formally charged under Article 10 of the Italian Criminal Code for kidnapping for ransom aggravated by death, rape and facilitation of illicit immigration. The witnesses described in their interrogation tortures and other inhuman treatment, but this was not added to the charges because the crime of torture was introduced in Italy only in June 2017, and these crimes were committed between 2015 and 2016.
The criminal trial started on 23 March 2017. Matammud was convicted and sentenced to life imprisonment on 10 October 2017 by the Court of Milan.
The appeal trial of Osmann Matammud took place in March 2019. Seventeen witnesses were heard by the Appeal Court of Milan, recalling the severe torture they suffered. His conviction and life sentence were upheld on 20 March 2019. The Appeal judges emphasized Matammud’s cruelty, the fact that he was directly involved in murders and the extreme severity of the torture and rapes.