Hate Hurts (chapter II)

To enter Lybia I spent 200 Dollars. I was in Lybia for 8 months. In Lybia I worked for 4 months. The first one month I was paid 200 dollars, the second dollar he paid the same and the last two months I was no paid. Lybia is lawless. People carry weapons they can do whatever they like with them. I was not sure what to do. There was nothing for me. No school, no work, no money. i go to the white people – the ones for the boat. To come to Italy it was 500Euro. Then I was taken to a house. It looked like one but was a very large courtyard. It was walled. There were 1500 people or so. We were all squashed together. I was there for 5 months waiting for my turn to go on the boat to Italy. The heat was unbearable. Every two weeks you see someone die. Everyday I ask when can I leave and the answer is tomorrow. I cannot go back. I have nothing and I have given all my money to this people. So if I die, I die. I was 9 hours on the boat.Not everyone made it. The boat went down and were rescued by the Italian navy.
“Lybia is lawless. People carry weapons and they can do whatever they like with them. There was nothing for me. No school, no work, no money. I went to the white people – the ones for the boat. To come to Italy they asked 500Euro. I was taken to a house. It looked like one but was a very large walled courtyard. There were 1500 people or so. We were all squashed together. I was there for 5 months waiting for my turn. The heat was unbearable. Every two weeks you see someone die. Everyday, I asked when I could leave and the answer was tomorrow. I could not leave. I had nothing. I gave all my money to these people. So if I die, I die. I was 9 hours on the boat. Not everyone made it. The boat went down and we were rescued by the Italian navy.

From Greece, I made my way to the South of Italy. The majority of refugees and asylum seekers have made their journey from Libya to Sicily, where those that are registered are sent to various centres in Italy. Violence takes many forms and  I am hoping to shed a light at how institutions and governments policies alike are inflicting psychological violence. When refugees come to our shores have already experienced displacement, violence and trauma. They need safety and security, yet they often encounter bureaucratic walls, violent policies that detain, force them to live in a limbo for months on end and deny them of psychological, physical support. I spent some time at the Centro Astalli Sud and Rodopa in Battipaglia where refugees, mostly from Africa have been transferred from Sicily. I learned of the painful ordeals of an existence in fear of being killed in conflict, wars, extreme poverty and hunger. For many, there was no way out but to flee.  Fleeing conflicts and extreme poverty, many had endured further torture, segregation in Libya and a constant fear for their lives, then the ordeal of the journey on unsafe boats to encounter more violence and destitution as they arrive in Europe.

Zahid was finger printed in Hungary which has left him in a very vulnerable situation. He cannot go to the Questura (police headquarters) because he would be deported and cannot receive any assistance for the same reason. He lives in an abandoned train carriage at the moment. He has been advised to stay put and try to survive for the next months as the rule on his first entry in Hungary will be removed after two years.
Zahid was finger printed in Hungary which has left him in a very vulnerable situation. He cannot go to the Questura (police headquarters) because he would be deported and cannot receive any assistance for the same reason. He lives in an abandoned train carriage at the moment. He has been advised to stay put and try to survive for the next months as the rule on his first entry in Hungary will be removed after two years.

Many are left dealing with their psychological scars in detention, bureaucratic nightmares and continuous limbo conditions. According to UNHCR, by mid-November, 164,695 migrants and asylum seekers reached Italy by sea (2016). Many are unable to move, look for work until permits are processed and are generally sent to various centres in the country.  Rejection rates have increased in comparison to the previous year and border controls have intensified. Most asylum seekers live in temporary emergency facilities. Some of these inadequate, with overcrowding and lack of security. Italy has been seeking negotiation to facilitate deportation of refugees in particular with Libya.