He fled to Ethiopia, then to Sudan, and finally to Libya, where he was captured by one of the militias fighting to control the country. “Libya is not a good place,” Abdul said while showing the scars on his arms.
“We had to eat toothpaste [to survive],” Ismail, a young man from Somalia, told Euronews. He has tried to cross the Mediterranean three times, but he was repeatedly intercepted by the Libyan Coast Guard and taken into detention centres. “Prisons are controlled by militias,” he said. “They are made up of brothers, cousins… and they ask for ransom.” The testimony of the 79 people rescued by the Aita Mari match with those of human rights organisations working in Libya: detention centres are places for torture and extortion. “You get arrested just because you are black,” Ismail explained.
Hamir will never forget the journey through the desert on a van: dozens of bodies fell during the drive. “At sea, at least you can swim. If you fall during this trip, you’re dead. You couldn’t see anything but the desert”, he said. When they arrived in Tripoli, Hamir and his brother were arrested and imprisoned. “One day, I managed to escape during a football match, but I left my brother inside,” he said. (Euronews)