D., Age: 19, from Ghana

8 September 2017

I was kidnapped in Libya and brought to an unofficial prison in Bani Walid. I was imprisoned for 5 months and released shortly before my departure for Italy. The prison guards would beat me daily. They would come in groups of three and stand in a circle around me: one in front, one behind and one on the side. Then, they would beat me all together. Once I was whipped so violently, I bled. My back is full of scars. It was terrible. At times, someone would die from an illness or from the torture. Whenever this would happen, the Libyans would wrap the body in a blanket and leave it in the room. We’d have to sleep next to the bodies. We’d have to eat next to the bodies. The guards would bring us a slice of bread a day and just chuck it on the floor. We were forced to eat right next to those bodies.
The guards would torture us so that we’d call our families and beg them to pay a ransom. Yet, my brother and I didn’t have anyone we could call. Eventually, the guards understood that they weren’t going to get any money out of us and so we were freed. We exited to the streets with our clothes filled with blood and were spotted by a Libyan man. Feeling sorry for us, the man paid a car to bring us to the coast and gave us the contact of another man who could get us to Italy.

This testimony was gathered at the Pozzallo Hotspot on the 8th of September 2017.