Carabinieri police in front of a center for asylum seekers in Isola Capo Rizzuto (Crotone, Calabria) | Photo: ARCHIVE/ANSA/Clemente Angotti
Carabinieri police in front of a center for asylum seekers in Isola Capo Rizzuto (Crotone, Calabria) | Photo: ARCHIVE/ANSA/Clemente Angotti

Italian authorities have arrested a Libyan citizen after a Somali immigrant accused him of torturing people at a "Safe House" in Libya.

On February 11, police in the southern Italian city of Crotone said they have arrested a Libyan citizen who is accused of torturing migrants at a "Safe House" in Libya, a detention center in an oasis town that offers shelter and medical care.

Police, coordinated by anti-mafia investigators, detained Alhasaeri M. in the Calabrian city of Catanzaro. The 37-year-old had been living at the hosting center of Isola Capo Rizzuto, near Catanzaro in southern Italy, since November last year. He had applied for international protection there.

The man faces charges of criminal association to favor illegal immigration. He is also accused of torturing migrants together with other people who are being identified by investigators.

'Peter the boss'

A Somali youth accused Alhasaeri M. of torturing migrants at the "Safe House." The Somali was rescued at the end of January by the Ocean Viking migrant rescue ship with others and taken to the city of Taranto in southern Italy.

The young man told police that M. was known as ''Peter the boss'' at the Libyan camp. He allegedly hit and tortured detainees to ask for money and maintain order at the facility, where migrants were kept before they were allowed to board a boat for Italy.

Flight risk

The arrest warrant was issued by anti-mafia prosecutors in Catanzaro after the alleged torturer and his victims met at the hosting center, a governmental accommodation facility for asylum seekers in Isola Capo Rizzuto. In December 2018, the so-called Salvini decree forced migrants to leave from this center.

According to investigative sources, the Libyan citizen initially told the Somali migrant he was ready to pay him to remain silent, but then threatened him after the migrant refused his offer.

The sources also said the suspect was considered a high flight risk as he was leaving the hosting facility when Crotone security officers arrived to arrest him on the night of February 10.
 

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