The main respondent of this testimony described being inside a truck onboard a vessel which left from Greece, together with a fellow companion on the 6th of November. The ship described as being the “SUPERFAST” model departed at approximately 6:00 pm from the Greek port of Patras arriving in Bari on the next morning at approximately 10:00 am – after 16 hours of transit.
According to the minor’s words, it was in the check-in scan the truck was going through in order to leave the the vessel that their bodies were detected. The doors to the truck’s cargo opened and approximately eight to ten Italian police officers were waiting for the two young men, ordering them to come out.
“I did not understand what they were saying to me; they were speaking Italian”.
The two men did so, but when they were ordered to get inside the police’s vehicle, the respondent’s companion presented resistance in doing so, fearing that he would be pushed-back and begging for that not to happen. His plead was met negatively by the officials, who in turn pushed and hit the young man, forcing him into the vehicle also ignoring his petition to remain in Italy.
“They didn’t handcuff me, they just grabbed me by the arm strongly to push me inside the car. My friend was hit by five Italian police officers in front of me just because he did not want to enter the car”.
The two victims were taken to the police station inside the port, where they remained for an approximate time of two hours with no translator present: their fingerprints were scanned and a picture showing their height was taken.
“They took my jacket, my shoes, my mobile phone, my documents. They left me with just my T-shirt and trousers”.
After this poor procedure, the Afghan men were taken to a boat the respondent describes as being the same exact one they had reached Italy in. The officers took them to a small room where they were locked for the long hours back to Greece.
“It was a very small room. A very bad room. It was very cold and there were no blankets or no toilet”. The respondent reiterated that not only their shoes, but also their jackets had been previously confiscated by the Italian officers.
When the ship arrived to Patras in the afternoon of November 8th, two local Greek police officers were described as having entered the vessel to find the minor and the fellow young man in the locked room. The respondent highlights that they were wearing normal clothes. He describes one of them as being “big and fit, with some white hairs”.
Still on the ship, the Greek officers hit them:
“In Italy they hit my friend. Here they beat the two of us”.
“The police hit me with their fists and asked me ‘why did you go to Italy? We will deport you to Turkey now'”.
After the threat of being chain pushed-back to Turkey, the victims were then taken to the port security headquarters inside the port of Patras, where their fingerprints were once again taken and where they were tested for COVID-19.
While his companion was freed after this three-hour long procedure, the main respondent of this testimony was taken to the police headquarters of Patras, where he was locked in a cell for a night. The victim was released on the 9th of November at approximately 10:00 am from the headquarters after receiving his confiscated belongings back.