Daniel – Rome

Daniel’s story: the search for asylum in Europe

28-year-old Daniel worked as a chemistry and physics teacher in Eritrea. One day in 2014, he was arrested by the authorities.  “They accused me of having tried to flee the country,” Daniel told ANSAmed. It was a case of being in the wrong place at the wrong moment: he had been alone and too close to the border.

“They kept me in prison for seven months, until I managed to escape during a transfer,” he said. That’s when his journey to the North, in search of a future, began.

Daniel first fled to Ethiopia, where he spent three months in the Hitsats refugee camp. After that, he left for Sudan, where he met human traffickers who were organizing a transit to Libya. Daniel’s family paid for his journey and he left with 120 other people. Once they reached Libya, they were stopped by soldiers during their journey from Benghazi to Tripoli. Daniel said they were arrested near the town of Sabha and for three weeks he was imprisoned along with 100 others.

“The soldiers were asking the traffickers to pay a sum for each of us. They took us hostage and sold us,” Daniel said. In Libya, migrants are treated like merchandise, and in Daniel’s case the traffickers paid to get Daniel and the others back. After that, they were taken to Tripoli.