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“Before we got to the border we were sold. It’s like slavery. They treated us like slaves. They tortured us, women were raped, men too.”  – Male migrant from Cameroon in Morocco

Committed

“Given what happened to me, Morocco and Moroccans are nice in comparison, even though there are people … who treat us with racist behaviour. It is not easy for us here. In Morocco I was at the border in Nador, I was trying to cross, I couldn’t, I went to Tangiers, I tried with the zodiac (boat), it didn’t work, I went to […], I didn’t manage. So I decided to leave for Libya, to see if I could find the chance to go to Europe from that way.”

 

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Photo taken at informal migrant centre in Marrakech

 

Abuses

“In Libya I was imprisoned twice. Once I was caught from the sea and they put me in jail. We had to call our families to ask them to send us money. If the family does not send money, they don’t give you any food, they shoot you. I spent two and a half months in prison and then I was released. I went to sea again.”

Back to the sea

“Then I was caught by pirates, rebel pirates, they took the women and the children with them and they left the men in the water. We waited for the Red Cross in the sea, but the Red Cross did not arrive. We were 85 men. Many died. I do not know how many survived.”

Trafficking

“I went to jail again, and my parents paid the money again. When I was released I was told to go back to Cameroon. I thought I would not go back. That’s why I’m in Morocco again. Before we got to the border we were sold. It’s like slavery. They treated us like slaves. They tortured us, women were raped, men too. I was lucky they didn’t touch me. I have been very lucky.”

On to Libya

“I saw many dead in front of me, over there is every man for himself. There are some who are deprived of food, others who cannot stand the cold. I was brave.”

“I reached Tripoli. In Tripoli you can’t work. If you work, they don’t pay you. There blacks live hidden, you don’t go around. Sometimes they come just to hit people. The gendarmes arrive, they start pulling people. They’ll torture you, they’ll kill you. I was also forced to work, I went to the edge of the water to pick up the corpses. Arrived from the water, the flies enter the eyes, in the mouth, in the ears. I didn’t know flies can eat you. They came from the dead pulled back by the sea.  We put them in the pick-ups, to go throw them in the middle of the desert.”

Insights

“If anyone wants to come here, I will tell him no, with all that I have seen! But you know, down there [in Cameroon] they are very stubborn. If you tell him not to come, they’ll tell you ‘no, the people enter Europe, we also want to enter Europe’.”

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