The story of 'Mariam', held captive as a sex slave in Tripoli

France 24 screen grab

On February 13, InfoMigrants received a distress call from a 16-year-old Ivorian girl being kept as a sex slave in Tripoli. For several weeks, journalists at InfoMigrants communicated with her on WhatsApp. They have called her Mariam.


She said she was locked in a house in a residential area of the Libyan capital. She called her captor, "Monsieur."

“Almost every day, he summons me to his room and forces me to have sex with him. Sometimes he hits me on the face or on the stomach. When I don’t want him to touch me, he hits me. I’m afraid to die.”

Mariam said that at first he wanted money in exchange for her freedom. “But since I have nothing, he abuses me.”

“He said if I tried to run away, he would kill my little sister. My 6-year-old sister was with me.”

“She doesn’t talk much anymore,” Mariam says. “Do you think it’s bad that she has stopped talking?”

Mariam expected eventually to be sold so Monsieur could buy another girl.

She later feared she was pregnant and wondered whether, if he found out, he would kill her.

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