Passenger saved on the El Hiblu 1
Bismillah-ir-Rahman-ir-Rahim (In the name of God, the Merciful and Compassionate), my name is Kamissoko. I come from Mali and I now live in Malta. I will explain to you how I arrived in Malta. Everyone knows what Mali was and still is going through. In 2016, I left my country to go and live in Libya. I have been suffering for two years. Two years of abuse in Libya. When I say abuse, you have to experience it to understand, it is not something you can explain. I thank God for saving me and helping me to survive all this. In the end, I decided to look for the road to Europe.
To get to Libya was already a problem – just imagine that you pay two or three times for the same journey without knowing if you will arrive. This would not cover the journey across the Mediterranean. All this because of the criminals. It was not easy at all. In 2019, God allowed me to travel and that is how I found myself in the boat that departed from Tripoli, Libya. I was happy because I could finally leave Libya. I made all the blessings, even though I knew that the journey was not finished. The boat was a rubber boat and we were so many that it was not easy at all. I remember, at that time there were a lot of children and women. It was difficult. At one point, people started panicking when we saw a helicopter coming towards us. Then we saw a big boat coming closer and we said ‘thank God’ because the boat came to take us to be safe and sound – no one fell down, no one was hurt except those who refused to get on. We stayed in the same location until the evening and when the boat started moving nobody went to ask where it was headed, because we had already been told that two boats were on the way to take us to Europe. So we all stayed calm until the next morning, when we realised that the captain had lied to us. He was taking us back to Libya. We got up to protest and to ask the captain the reason why he was taking us back to Libya. That is why the protest started on the boat. But the captain did not understand what we were saying. Personally, I did not understand Arabic or English, the only language I understood was a little French, but the captain did not understand French. There were many men among us who did not understand English, French or Arabic – and so we faced a real challenge in trying to find a way to understand each other.
When we arrived in Malta, we did not feel welcome after we realised that the Maltese authorities called us names that nobody wants to be called. Only God knows the truth, but we always ask the authorities to listen to us, to be given the opportunity to express what really happened between us and the captain on the boat. We were the ones present, there, on the scene. I really do not understand why they chose to torture three of us. We all ask for justice for these three young men who helped us a lot during our journey across the Mediterranean Sea. We also ask all those willing to help us to demand from the Maltese authorities to give our three heroes their total freedom.