Twenty Sierra Leoneans have been seized in Sabha, south-western Libya and are being tortured, according to a distress-sounding man who called Politico an hour ago [Wednesday morning] claiming to be one of them.

The caller, Christian Koroma said “we the 14 men are being locked inside a house and our captors are regularly beating us”.

He said the six women were being held elsewhere and implied they could be being raped.

“We were on our way to Italy for greener pastures when we were seized here 14 days ago” Christian told Politico in a crackling voice.

He said they were beaten daily and called for the intervention of the authorities in Freetown to rescue them.

A large number of Sierra Leoneans are believed to have been making the perilous journey to Europe, especially lately, through the North African nation.

In 2013, dozens of Sierra Leoneans who had apparently been hoodwinked by some phony recruitment agency were stranded in the same Sabha city. A campaign by this medium led to the IOM flying them back home.