The main respondent to this testimony is a 24-year-old Afghan man. He and another man, aged 21, hid in the undersides of a lorry in the port of Patras, Greece, at around 12:00 pm on Friday 10 September 2021. Hours later, at around 5:00 pm, the truck boarded the Anek Lines ferry and subsequently departed for Venice, Italy.
After 28 hours in the lorry, the respondent recalls that it was around 4:00 pm on Saturday 11th when they arrived at the port of Venice and the driver discovered them. The driver alerted the ship’s security officers, who arrested them and locked them into a cabin. After a while, two Italian police officers arrived and took away their belongings. The two Afghan boys tried to express their request to be granted asylum in the country, but the police officers paid no attention to them. Instead, they made them sign documents in Italian, the meaning of which was neither explained nor translated into English or Farsi.
Hours later – the men had stayed locked up in the room – at around 7:00 pm, the ferry started to move again. The ship’s security officers gave them food, but no water. The respondent in the testimony recalls saying “Please, I need water” and being told “What you need is to fuck a woman”, among other insults and degrading comments.
The next day, Sunday 12th, the ferry arrived in Patras at around 7:00 pm. The Greek police took the two boys to the police station. There, their personal details were taken and they were locked up for a few hours. At 10:00 pm, one of them, the 24-year-old, was released because he had the status of an asylum seeker in Greece. The other one, who had only arrived in Greece a week ago and had not started the asylum application procedures, was held until 6:00 pm on Monday 13th. When he was released, he was given a document giving him 25 days to leave the country.