22 years old, Hiran Somalia


In July 2017 he made the decision to come to Europe. From Somalia he crossed to Kenya, Uganda, South Sudan, Sudan and Libya. It arrived in October of that same year.

“In my country life is not safe because there is a war, there are many problems.” Samir went to school until he was 7 years old. “My city was controlled by Al Shabab. They act as a state, they have their own government and army, they killed my father and my brother.” “(In Libya) I had a lot of problems, I paid money, they hit me, I went through everything.”

He also talks about extortion and calls to his relatives to get more money. He was arrested the first time he tried to catch a boat to get to Europe and spent a year in prison with militia groups. They hit him on the head and he has a pronounced mark on his forehead. Ismail, who works as a translator, talks to Samir about other torture they have both seen in detention centers: they take them by the shoulders and hit their heads against the wall, hanging them from the ceiling by their feet … They say that It is very hard to live as long underground, as prisons usually are.

“When I tell you that it is better to be dead than to be underground, that is why you have not been to Libya.


Testimony collected and written by Marta Maroto (El País)