Sweden:'Torture, rape and slavery in Libya must stop'

Written by Fatma Naib | Photos by Khairul Bahriah

SWEDEN, Stockholm – Thousands of people gathered in the Swedish capital, Stockholm, on Saturday night to protest against the alleged sale of African migrants and refugees in Libya.

A recent CNN video clip showing people from African countries allegedly being sold as slaves for as little as $100 went viral, drawing the outrage of many, including the United Nations.

The protest, attended by close to 4,000 people in the Swedish capital, was organised by Lovette Jallow, author and founder of the online makeup platform for black people and people of colour, Black Vogue.

“Do not thank me because I am the organiser, this is what you all need to do, we are in this together.

Lovette Jallow, organized and mobilized the demonstration attended by thousands in the Swedish capital.

“Open your eyes, seek information don’t be naïve, thinking this is happening to them and not to us, we know very well slavery never ended,” said the 30-year-old entrepreneur based in Stockholm.

Her Facebook post calling for protests against the Libya incident drew a response from thousands of people. Similar protests were held in several other Swedish cities simultaneously.

Addressing the crowd of diverse backgrounds, Jallow said that change starts at home, and how important it is to change attitudes at home.

Thousands gathered in Sergels Torg Square, Stockholm to protest against slavery and other human rights violations in Libya.

“This is a human rights issue, this is something that you can do, this is something that you should do in your homes. Are you from Turkey, Kurdistan, Iran or Egypt? If in all these countries when you are home, and people are called ‘Abed’ ‘Slave’, speak up!

“Now is the time to say enough is enough!”

Libya descended into chaos soon after long-time leader Muammar Gaddafi was toppled, following a bloody revolt in 2011. The country is bitterly divided, with two, competing governments and dozens of fighter groups engaged in turf wars.

Libya has been a popular transit destination for migrants and refugees escaping their countries in Africa to reach Europe.

Al Jazeera spoke to some of those who attended the protest in Stockholm.