The Documentary Podcast
Sicily’s prisoner fishermen
Thursday, 5 November
Eighteen fishermen from Sicily are in jail in Benghazi, accused of fishing in Libya’s waters. And in this part of the Mediterranean, rich in the highly-prized and lucrative red prawn, these kinds of arrests are frequent. Usually the Libyans release the men after negotiations. This time it’s different. General Khalifa Haftar – the warlord with authority over the east of Libya – is demanding a prisoner swap: the freeing of four Libyans in jail in Sicily convicted of human trafficking and implicated in the deaths of 49 migrants, in return for the fishermen. For Assignment, Linda Pressly explores a little-known conflict in the Mediterranean - the so-called, ‘Red Prawn War’ and its fall-out.
(Image: Domenico Asaro, a third generation fishermen from Mazara del Vallo who has been arrested at sea by Libya three times. Credit: BBC)