The 21-year-old Afghan man who was the primary respondent for this testimony described being under a truck inside a ship from Patras to Bari on the 11th of October, 2020. The vessel arrived to Italian territory on the 12th at around 8:00 am. The driver of the truck, along with two port security guards, were the ones to find him in his hiding spot. In this moment, the Italian police was called, who shortly thereafter arrived and transported him to a police office inside the port.
Once in the detention place, the Afghan man clarified that his English is very limited, yet there was no translator present. The respondent denied having documents and expressed his desire to remain in Italy, asking not to be deported. The officials told him to keep quiet, not to speak. Consequently, they asked him for his first and last name, and took a picture of him. His fingerprints were also recorded into a computer at this time.
The time spent in the police station was approximately 4.5 hours, during which time he sat handcuffed and his shoes and mobile phone were confiscated. He was only given two biscuits to eat, water, and a cigarette. He was repeatedly told not to speak.
After some time, he was transported from this station onto a vessel in the port and locked in a room. After a short time, this vessels began a journey back to Greece. On the journey back, he was in a small room with a bed but no blankets, exposed to the cold air conditioner of the vessel.
“It was very cold in there, no blankets, no nothing”.
He was not given access to a toilet or a washroom either. To eat he had half a sandwich and a 1.5 litre water bottle. The respondent described staying in this single room for approximately 15 hours that it took to arrive back to Greece.
Once the ship finally arrived back to port in Greece, the respondent described being pushed-back after arriving to the port of Patras on the afternoon of the 13th of October. He was taken in briefly to the “detention station” within the Patras port, during which time he was given his shoes and phone back. Eventually, he was allowed to leave and exited the port back into the city.