Lebanon: Returned Lebanese migrants recount attempted boat crossing horror

23 сентября 2020 г. 17:44

Young Lebanese men from the northern Lebanese city of Tripoli told the story of their journey by boat to Cyprus in an asylum attempt that ended with the death of a number of passengers and the return to Lebanon, after they were found by the naval forces of army with the cooperation of UNIFIL (United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon) in a deplorable condition. Muhammad talked on Monday about the living difficulties that prompted him to try the journey by sea, saying, “You are obliged to do the impossible to feed your children, we only want to secure our children's sustenance, we do not want anything from you [the government], we want our children to live [with dignity and sufficiency].” Muhammad also revealed the circumstances of his son’s death during the trip. “After our food stocks ran out and my son started asking for something to drink, my son died, and we tore our clothes, me and my wife to shroud him, and my son remained in this condition for a few days, and we hope for help arriving so that we can return him with us to Lebanon to bury him. After help did not arrive, we put him in the water.” He added, «he died asking me for water and juice to drink, they fooled us. I hope that everyone who was involved in the death of my son will remain in prison, because I will kill them, and I say this publicly, if the one who caused the death of my son will be released from prison after five or six years, then he will die at my hands, whoever he is, and I say that publicly.» The 21-year-old expressed his desire to commit suicide due to the difficulty of securing a decent life for his five children, wife and mother. For his part, another young man named Muhammad described the situation in Lebanon as “an era of humiliation, poverty, disgust, humiliation and corruption,” which prompted him to try to emigrate to Germany. Despite the failure of the attempt, he expressed his desire to do it again. Muhammad suffers from scars on his body caused by «fish bites» and jellyfish stings, in addition to the appearance of pimples on his back as a result of salt water after swimming for days while trying to find help. Local media reports indicated that the majority of the 50 passengers were Lebanese and Syrians, including children and women, who were on their way to Cyprus via a boat with a capacity of no more than 25 passengers, and the owner of the boat left them at sea after he collected nearly 350 million Lebanese pounds (€198,394; $231,572) from them. The reports added that 14 passengers died after being at sea for eight days.

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