“S is 31 years old. He arrived in Italy a little over a month ago, having made an exhausting journey on foot from Pakistan to Milan, via the Balkan route. To make the journey even harder, one of his feet was horribly broken and went untreated.
“I thought I saw everything in Nigeria with Boko Haram. I thought I had endured the worst things in the world. But I was wrong. I hadn’t seen Libya yet. “
Traumatic shock, burns, gunshot wounds, hypothermia, and dehydration.
This is what our nurse Gabriella and cultural mediator Ahmed tell us they have seen aboard the Open Arms vessel, which rescued a dinghy on the Mediterranean this morning. 73 people were travelling: 69 men, 4 women with 2 children, and 24 unaccompanied minors.
Their stories are desperate: a man from Chad has a gunshot wound to his foot, suffered a few days ago.
“A militia attacked the centre where I was kept prisoner in Libya. They wanted to capture us and I tried to escape, but they shot me”, he tells us.
“His injury is pretty serious”, explains Gabriella as she proceeds with giving the initial medication.
Fatima is one of the little ones here, and was rescued alongside her mother.
After Boko Haram killed Fatima’s father in Nigeria, they were both stranded in Libya for 3 years.
There are burns on Fatima’s body. “They threw boiling water on her”, her mother explains, with a lost look and eyes full of tears.
Devastating stories, rights denied, places of torture and violence. This is Libya, a country with which European nations sign agreements.
This is the desperation that Europe continues to ignore.