“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."
Shipwreck survivors with first-hand experience of the brutal migration politics of the last few months. That’s who the 215 people who landed on Tuesday at the port of Augusta, Sicily, are.
Three children were made orphans. The dead bodies of two young mothers arrived with them.
We listened to B’s story. He is 14 years old and stares into nothingness. His face is worn out with exhaustion. He is a child who has grown old before his time. The Libyan guards hung him upside down for days to extort money from him. They laughed as he cried.
Three times he tried to cross the sea and three times he was taken back to Libya to suffer the same torture.
After hearing his story, we are slightly dazed, and when the doctor asks us whether B has any health problems, we hesitate a bit before saying “conjunctivitis”.
The cargo that landed today included survivors, orphans, widows and a deluge of suffering.
— Ahmed, Programme Coordinator in Siracusa, Sicily