“I asked for water, they replied «what you need is to fuck a woman»”

  • Date and time: September 11, 2021 17:00
  • Location: Port of Venice, Italy
  • Coordinates: 45.4313686, 12.312702
  • Pushback from: Italy
  • Pushback to: Greece
  • Demographics: 2 person(s), age: 24, 21 years old , from: Afghanistan
  • Minors involved? No
  • Violence used: insulting, theft of personal belongings
  • Police involved: 2 Italian policemen
  • Taken to a police station?: yes
  • Treatment at police station or other place of detention: detention, fingerprints taken, photos taken, personal information taken, papers signed, no translator present
  • Was the intention to ask for asylum expressed?: Yes
  • Reported by: No Name Kitchen

Original Report

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.

OLYMPIC CHAMPION photo
This was most likely the ferry that the men were traveling in.

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.

One of the Afghan boys locked in the cabin
Screenshot of a video that the men took, whilst they were locked up in the cabin.

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 other boy locked in the cabin
Another screenshot of the same video, showing the other man inside the cabin.

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.

Document issued by the police stating that the person has 25 days to leave the country