“The young man spent 64 hours in journey only to end up in the same place where he had started”

  • Date and time: October 24, 2020 00:00
  • Location: Venice, Italy
  • Coordinates: 45.4383649, 12.307342
  • Push-back from: Italy
  • Push-back to: Greece
  • Demographics: 1 person(s), age: 20 , from: Afghanistan
  • Minors involved? No
  • Violence used: no violence used, forcing to undress
  • Police involved: 6-8 Italian police officers, unknown number of Greek port security guards and police officers
  • Taken to a police station?: no
  • Treatment at police station or other place of detention: handcuffed
  • Was the intention to ask for asylum expressed?: No
  • Reported by: No Name Kitchen

Original Report

The boat the respondent of this testimony was on parted at approximately 6:00pm of the 22nd of October. He claims to have been hiding under a rain cover that was over the truck and that it was when the truck was turning around to exit the ship once in the destination port that the driver was able to see the man on his vehicle. Shortly after, around 6 to 8 Italian police officers came to find him.

After confiscating all of his personal belongings (shoes, cell phone and documents), the officials handcuffed the young man. Afterwards, they asked him where he was going, to what the victim answered he wanted to go to France, where he would meet with his family.

“I told them I had family in Europe and asked them not to push me back. They didn’t give me any food or any water. I didn’t even have access to a toilet. They pushed me back immediately”.

The respondent highlights that there was what he referred to as a “person from the UN”, whom he described as an official translator from Pakistan. “The translator told me that they could not leave let me stay in Italy and that they would deport me”. In the procedure, the victim told the translator that he was feeling sick and with great pain in the throat: he needed to be seen by a doctor. His petition was ignored and his right to health was violated.

“You can go to the doctor when you are back in Athens”, the officials answered mockingly.

The respondent did not even abandon the boat as he was not taken to a police station. Still handcuffed, he was taken inside a small room in the same boat he had travelled to Italy in. The officials who had arrested him were the ones to place and lock him inside the vessel’s room, where he spent the next long hours alone. Fortunately, there was food, water and a blanket.

Asterion II from the company Anek Lines is most likely the vessel that facilitated the young man’s push-back, as it is one of the few ships to do the route Patras – Venice route, and takes 32 hours in doing so.

The journey back was as long as the journey to Venice, which takes 32 hours –one-way– in the ferry company Anek Lines, one of the few to do this route regularly. In total, hence, the victim spent over 64 hours in this journey –almost four full days– only to end up in the same place where he had started from.