Testimonies in Italy

"You get on the boat or they shoot you!"

the story of Hakim

Hakim, 25. I thought we will travel on a boat, a real wooden boat, we found ourselves on a large buoy. If someone refused to get on the boat they put a gun on his head. “You get on. if you won’t I’ll shoot you!”

"Most of those left in the desert died"

The story of Kelvin

Kelvin 22 years old,  “Some guys fell from the car. We asked the driver to stop but he kept on moving. Most of those who were left in the desert died.”

"I survived only to see my family again"

The story of Tchama

Tchama, 40. «I spent 15 month in prison. I was raped many times. Many died because they refused. Many other lost their reason because of that. I survived only thanks to prayers and to the desire to see my family again.»

"Some lost there sight. Others lost there reason"

The story of Mamadou

Mamdou 37 years old, «I was working in Libya (…) One night they came and started shooting. They took us to a prison called “Soukhoulat”. The situation there was very difficult. No food no water. We were forced to do our business in the room. Some of us lost their sight there. Others lost their […]

"You are never free, there."

The story of Assami

Assami, 23 Years old. Assami says: «As soon as we entered in Libya, we started suffering so much. Even if you work, if you ask for your money they will use violence to you, or put you in jail. Even if you get out of jail you are never free.»

"He was the only survivor. All the others... "

The story of Abdoulaye

Abdoulaye, 25 years old, He said: «When you are in the sea, You see only water. You do not see the limit of water. Every minute of your life is a danger. The rescuers took me out of the water. A friend of mine was the only survivor of the boat in which he was […]

"We could not call the parents of our dead friends..."

The story of Ebou

Ebou 32 years old, He says: «They always tell you it’s a good boat. But it’s never so. It’s always a bad boat. And when a boat breaks, many persons die. We lost a lot of friends there. And no one could call their parents to tell them: your son… How can you do that?»  

"If you fall down, it's finished! "

The story of Pedro

Pedro, 25 years old He says: «we spent many days traveling on the “Hilux”, in the desert. We were loaded on the lorries as if we were goats… And if you fall down thanit’s finished. They let you die there in the middle of the desert.»

"Many people were left there because they don't have monney"

The story of Babacar

Babacar, 28 years old «There are check points all over Africa, and they don’t respect Human rights. Every where: Burkina, Niger… until Libya. If you do not have money they put you in jail and torture you… »  

"He spat on my friend and shot him in the head"

The story of Raoul

Raoul 24 years, «We were robbed of every thing during our trip. So we had to work to continue the journey… The Guy hired us to work for a 50 Dinars per day each. But at the end of the work he gave us only 10 Dinars… We protested about this and the man took his […]

"Corpses like shells thrown out by the sea"

The story of Majed

Majed 28 years old, He says: «Any one who thinks to cross the Mediterranean that way, is buying his death with his own money. The smugglers treat persons like things. The thing you need you keep it, the one you don’t need you throw it away. I have seen a big tragedy. The corpses of the victims […]

"I never thought I'll stay closed in a place for 7 months!"

The story of Julius

Julius 24 years He says: “We were arrested and closed in a place. there were people suffering and wounded. They wanted money from us. I stayed there almost 7 months. I never thought to stay closed in a place for seven months!”  

"Life is more precious than any thing"

The story of Younes

Younes is 30 years old. He says: «Yu may dream to reach Europe, or any country in the world. But that dream can lead you to death. In taht Journey, every moment, every hour, every day your life is in danger. And life is more precious than any thing.»

"I can never enter the sea again!"

The story of Samuel

Samuel is 25 years old. He says that he have known about so may boats that sank in the sea. And even his boat was. He adds: “I’ll never enter te sea again!”

"All you see there is violence."

The story of Abass

Abass 25 years, He says:  “If you have done something or you have not done any thing, they will take you and put you in jail… And all you see there is violence.”

"They never tell you the truth"

The story of Daniel

Daniel, 18 He says that even if you have to pay you are treated like a prisoner, like an animal. They put 200 or 300 on inflatable boats of 9 metres. And even if those who departed before you have died at sea, they never tell you.

"My friend reacted aggressively, so they... "

The story of Terema

Terema, 26 years old Terema says he was captured by unidentified persons, him and his friend. They wanted them to call their family to ask for money. But there is a problem. A big problem.

"One year in prison is not easy"

The story of Paco

Paco 25 years. Paco says he spent one year in prison being tortured very often. All this for no reason. Just because his parents could not send him money for his liberation.

"One day some persons got on my way and kidnapped me"

The story of Fatima

Fatima is 34 years old. She says that in Libya there are so many gangs who kidnap men and women. “I was working and every thing was ok. But one day some persons got on my way and kidnapped me.  I was held in prison, persecuted and suffered mistreatment. And my family refused to send money needed […]

"At any moment they all could lose their life"

The story of Mohammed

Mohammed is 32 years old. He tells us the story of his journey on what he calls a “very very narrow boat”. “This boat was supposed to take not more than 20 peoples, ut they put more than 100 people in it: men, children and pregnant women… This boat could have problems at any moment […]

"If you pay back they kill you"

The story of Salif

Salif is 21 years old. He, like many others have been in Libya. He says, that the country is in a Chaos and that there is no law there. Every one is a policeman there.  “They killed a lot of my friends. They mistreat you and if you pay back, they kill you. Straight away!”

"I lost all my beloved ones"

The story of Lamin

Lamin, 18. He had a very hard journey. He have been captured and tortured. “I lost all my beloved ones.” he says. “So many!” He tell us how he traveled with his friend. One on one boat and the other on an other boat. The boat of his friend sank and all passengers died. “We […]

"I wished to be killed"

The story of Rachida

Rachida is 34, She lived as a migrant in Libya. She says that she was walking in the street when she was kidnapped. “They tied my hands and feet behind the chair and treated me badly To a point that I wished to be killed, than to find my self tortured. ” “

"Those who attack you are the same who will push you to the sea"

The story of Omar

Omar is 20 years old. He talks about the so-called “coaxers”, persons who gather migrants and lead them to the place where they will embarque on the boats. «My coaxer told me», he says, «those who attack and kill some of you in the desert, are the same who will push you to the sea tonight.”

"They give you a gun and it's over: you become a soldier"

The story of Gautier

Gautier is 32. He tells the story of those who are forced to become soldiers. «They give you a machine gun. They show you how to use it for one or two hours. And then it’s over. You become a soldier of their Camp.» «Many friends and brothers of mine became soldiers in that way. ANd so far […]

"It is like going from one hell to another."

The story of Camarà

Camara is only 20 years old. Even though he has a lot of things to tell. He recounts the abuses, violence and terror suffered during his stay in Libya. “Getting to Libya,” he said. “Finding people armed, even children, is like going from one hell to another.”

"Smugglers look at their passengers as already dead persons, "

The story of Andrè

André is 18 . He saw many people die during his journey. He keeps of that a strong memory that makes him very sad. “The smugglers,” he said, “do not look at their passengers as human beings, they see them as already dead persons, and if they do not die in the desert, they will die at […]

"They don't care if you are a human like them"

The story of Martins

Martins is 23 years old. He has seen so many bad things during his journey. He says: “They don’t care if you are a human like them. They don’t care who you are. They just kidnap you, beat you mercilessly and torture you, and ask you to call someone to send money in order to release […]

"We had no place to go or to return to, just the sea in front of us"

the story of Ebrima

Ebrima  is 35. He tells us the reason why people agree to embark on these unsure  inflatable boats. “These are simple plastic boats,” he said. “Nobody would board if we were not forced. But they forced us to go up. Those who refuse are killed. We had no place to go or to return to, just the sea […]

"We were so packed that it was also difficult to breath"

The story of Trika

Trika is 21 years old, He talks about the travel across the desert on the back of a truck. “We were so packed that it was also difficult to breath.” He says that smugglers do not care of people if they survive or die.

"Today I'm alone. All my friends died."

The story of Daba

Daba in 19 years old. He was very young when he started the journey from his homeland to Europe. But he was not alone. “I was with my best friends”, he says. But today Daba is all alone. All his friends died during the journey.

"They sold me to a Libyan man..."

The story of Emilie

  Emilie is 29 years old. She has been kidnaped, enchained, raped, tortured many times. She have seen her friends dying in front of her. Her testimony was interrupted many times by her tears. The emotion was too hard.

"They raped my wife and then they used sticks to beat her and me..."

The story of Ismael

Ismael 20 years old. For Ismael this trip has been expensive. Too expensive. He paid it with the most precious thing. He lost his wife on the road. They were imprisoned and tortured. «My wife was pregnant. They raped her. And then they used sticks to beat her and me.» In the eyes of Ismael you can […]

"The suffering began from Niger"

The story of Souleymane

  Souleymane is 22. Like many he followed the road that leads from Niger to Libya. He says: “ The suffering began from Niger. And from Niger we stayed in the same hands all over our trip.”

"I was raped and beaten every day..."

The story of Blessing

  Blessing is 20 years old. Her odyssey started when she was only 16. During her long journey, she was kidnaped by criminal organisations and smugglers of different kinds. She says: “I was just 16 years old. I was raped and beaten every day… We were forced to sleep with men who were old enough to be […]

"My friend got shot because he wanted to retrieve his money."

The story of Seku

  Seku is 20 years old. He went to Libya looking for a job and trying to earn some thing. But he faced a very bad situation there, Speaking in bambara, he says: ” Even if you work you are not sure to get paid. A friend of mine got shot in Tripoli because he wanted to retrieve […]

"He cried: You want to bury me but I am still alive?"

The story of Thierno

  Thierno, is 18 years old, but his eyes have seen many many things. His experience in Libya was an incredible story full of fear and suffering.  He had to bury his own friend alive. «I cried, because I didn’t want to do that. But if I didn’t I would have died too.»

"Two guys died in my presence in the desert"

The story of Imasuen

Imasuen says: two guys died in my presence in the desert. because of there is no food, no water and a very hot sun.

"better to die in the sea than suffering in Libya"

The story of Sawadogo

  Sawadogo 24 years old. Sawadogo suffered so much in Libya. At the extent that he says: It’s better to die in the sea than suffering in Libya…  

"It was really hell!"

the story of Saliou

  Saliou 22 years old. Saliou says: “We  spent 22 days in the desert.” «Even breathing was difficult. We found people already dead and buried. It was really hell!»

"if you get out alive, it's only luck"

The story of Mohammed

  Mohammed 28 Years old. Mohammed risked his life during the trip and saw people die in front of him “killed for nothing.” – he says. «If you get out of it alive it is only a question of luck.»

"Nobody will help you in the desert"

The story of Ajus

  ِAjus 28 years old. Ajus says: «It’s a journey of death. Nobody will help you in the desert. We were about 500 people in a lory. loaded like animals… Many people die in the desert… They are killing blacks every day there!»

"the smugglers say that its an easy journey"

The story of Moussa

Moussa 23 years old. Moussa says:”It’s a lie!”.  What people say on émigration, the smugglers who say that its an easy journey… “There are many people we think they are still on the road but they are actually dead. In the forest, in the desert or in the sea…” – he adds.

"It's a tombola. You may arrive or you may die"

The story of Cesar

Cesar, 31, Cesar tells how he was lost in the sea on the migrants boats, staying two days without water and food. He also says how he saw his companions die in the water.

"It seems like you want to die"

The story of Laemy

Leamy, 37, Leamy had a long and difficult journey. She says “It’s very risky! It seems like you want to die”. She also said she would not advise anyone of her family or friends to do what she did to  come to Europe, because of what she saw and experienced in the Sahara desert.

"Of seven boats only three succeed, the other died"

The story of Bright

Bright, 26 years old. He says: “Of the seven boats we were put on, only three succeed, the other died.” He asks: How can you allow your brother to come and live what we lived in the sea?

"Too many threats, too many tortures!"

The story of Déjeuna

Déjeuna is 28 She tried to cross the sea between Morocco and Spain. She witnessed the death of her best friend. She tried the route through Libya and says she regretted having done so. “Too many threats, too many tortures!” she says.

"I held my baby and I cried"

The story of Tchamba

“Even with your own money you become just slaves…”

"He wanted to shoot me"

The story of Jessica

Jessica is 21. She is a young woman from Equatorial Africa. Like many others, she sought to reach Europe via Libya. But in the north African country she has lived through hell. Jessica tells an episode of this ordeal.