Drowning for Freedom: Libya’s Migrant Jails (Part 1)
As Libya descends further into civil war and lawlessness, migrants from Africa and the Middle East continue to journey to the country's coast in search of smugglers to take them across the Mediterranean Sea and into Europe.
Search and rescue operations by Libya's coast guard are restricted due to diminishing resources, and have to contend with dangerous gangs of armed traffickers.
Those rescued at sea by the coast guard are brought to detention centers, where they face deplorable conditions and are forced to remain for long periods of time. In some instances, migrants are detained by militias in unofficial prisons outside of government control.
In part one of a three part series, VICE News is given access to chilling footage filmed by the Libyan coast guard, who have witnessed an influx of migrants trying to cross the Mediterranean Sea, recovering hundreds of bodies of those who've drowned on their journey to Europe.