In The News: How a notorious people smuggler escaped justice

In this episode, Sally Hayden talks about what she has learned of Kidane and his associate knows as “Walid”

In The News is hosted by reporters Conor Pope and Sorcha Pollak

In The News is hosted by reporters Conor Pope and Sorcha Pollak

 

A slave trade for the 21st century has seen thousands of men, women and children trafficked from North Africa into Europe across some of the most perilous sea crossings in the world.

But only some of those who fall into the hands of the human traffickers make it to Europe.

Many others are held captive for months and even years in warehouses in Libya and elsewhere with the promise of safe passage proving elusive or illusory. Violence is a currency in these warehouses and the criminals have frequently been accused of murder and rape by those who have managed to escape.

Ransoms are sought from the victims’ families and they are often traded like cargo between gangs and threatened with murder until money is handed over.

One of the most notorious smugglers was Kidane Zekarias Habtemariam. Of Eritrean descent, he was arrested in Ethiopia a year ago and stood trial.

But halfway through, he simply disappeared from the courtroom and has not served a single day of his life sentence.

Sally Hayden talks to Conor Pope about her reporting on this story for The Irish Times and what she has learned from her interviews with victims of Kidane and his associate knows as “Walid”.

In The News is hosted by reporters Conor Pope and Sorcha Pollak.

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