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TESTIMONIES OF BEING FORCED TO CROSS THE MEDITERRANEAN

 

Male respondent from Mali interviewed in Rome on 13/03/2017 – “I was detained for 7 months in Tripoli, I don’t know who they were, maybe rebels. Every day some men came to the prison who took us out and forced us to work. At the end of the working day, the rebels brought us back to prison. One day, the employer told me he wanted to help me and started asking the rebels for me every day until he eventually kept me in his garage. He brought me some food and left me there alone for 2 days and 2 nights. When he got back to the garage, he said he wanted to help me. I said I would love to go to Algeria or Niger to work. ‘That route is not easy, I cannot help you with it’ he replied. He left, promising he would be back. At midnight he came back and took me to the shores. I was frightened. It was about 4 in the morning when those people forced me to get on the boat. In that moment, I realized that the employer didn’t want to help me at all.”

Male respondent from Guinea interviewed in Rome on 20/03/2017 – “It is true that you can easily earn money in Libya. The point is that you cannot leave the country, if not across the Mediterranean Sea. I spent 3 months in a prison. I was asked 700 USD to be released and to go to Italy. But I did not want to go to Italy, I heard on the TV news that people died in the sea. I asked if I could pay and be taken back to my home country. The boss of the prison said ‘No, you can only go to Italy, this is the route’. The sufferance in the prison was so much that I agreed to go to Italy, as long as I would leave that place, it was ok.”

Male respondent from Cote d’Ivoire interviewed in Rome on 20/03/17 – “In Tripoli, asma boys* put us in prison. After 90 days of detention, one of them proposed to help my boss and I to escape, as long as we would accept to take a boat out of Libya. Since we did not want to die in that prison, we agreed. He said it would be easy, we would just cross and then take a flight to Europe. He did not even mention Italy. But once we saw the sea, in the early daylight, we realized that the sea had neither an ending nor a beginning.”  *Local term for gang

March 2017 – Documented by MHub Data Focal Point in Italy – Angela Tullio Cataldo

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