26 years old, Kumasi, Ghana

When her father died in 2001, her mother was left on the street with three children. He is the oldest and cannot read or write, he has a hard time finding a job.

Two years ago, she met a man who promised to work as a carrier. However, he cheated on him and took him to Libya, where he disappeared and sold to the mafias. He was kidnapped by, according to Adams, the Libyan police. He spent nine months in an underground prison, they beat him every day asking for money. Since he was so poor that he did not have a phone, nor his mother, they could not extort him and in the end they released him.

He arrived in Tripoli, where he was again arrested by the Libyan military and was performing forced labor in the construction sector. They never paid him and punished and threatened him with more violence if he asked for remuneration. While they worked, Adams calculates that next to him there would be a hundred people, pointing guns at them so they would not run away. He slept and ate in prison, where he only came out to go to work. They were given a piece of bread or a serving of food a day with a glass of water, and sometimes they were punished without eating.

When he was released he started working for a man who did pay him. He convinced her to throw herself into the sea, because what she had earned was not enough to return to Ghana. He paid about 320 euros to the traffickers. “In Libya I thought he was dead. I have never seen anything like it before. I asked God to help me. Write it down, so that people never come to Libya.” “They hit me with iron sticks all over my body. They hung me from the feet to hit me. I have suffered a lot, I have lost my strength.”


Testimony collected and written by Marta Maroto (El País)