West African Unaccompanied YOuth Migrants Suffer for MOnths, Years in Libyan Prisons

Lucky Boy's Verse on "In Libya": "From prison to prison, it is never stop Many times on the boat, people getting shot. It’s not easy being black on the street, They kidnap you, chain hands and feet. Each and every one, they have a gun Paid for by the European Union. Police is criminal, criminals are police So much corruption there can’t be peace. People listen up, to my story One year in this purgatory. Beaten every day, made into a slave My brothers and sisters forced to their grave. Like great prophets, I made a long journey From Gambia to Senegal to Mali. Mali to Burkina to Niger On this journey I’ve seen so many tears."

Success’ Verse on “In Libya”: "Before I get to Libya, one week in the desert. Migrant graveyard, no food or water. Many people are dying. Men, women, and children are crying. Every trip in the journey, We are beaten like animals, treated like animals. No food or water, every day, every prison. Beating, killing people every day and every night. Every day we pray to god that we want to be free, From the hands of these people. In Libya."

Bubacarr’s Verse on “In Libya”: "We all know that to be a man in Libya is not easy. Struggle so hard to get just what you want. Life seems so hard for every ghetto youth. So hard in Libya, every ghetto youth, Moving forward every day, on the way to success. Live life, give thanks, no regrets. Every day we should be living, Giving thanks every time, yeah. Libya is so hard."

Ismael, a 17-year-old Gambian boy: “They have no mind for humanity in Libya, they just don’t care... Everyone in Libya has guns, even children... When I was in prison, my mom was so worried about me, so scared, going crazy for five months... When I called her and told her I was in Italy, she didn’t believe me. She was so happy.” Umberto Primo, Syracuse, Sicily: June 2017.

Abdullah, an 18-year-old Gambian boy at a sea-side beach bar for a jam session. “The lights at sea, when I was in Libya, they scared me, because when we leave in the boats, the Libyan police comes looking for us. We must be totally silent when we see those lights. When the police catch you, they put you back in prison. Then they demand more money. They also shoot us in the boats. They took me back to prison two or three times. There’s no way to be happy in that life. That’s why I’m happy now.” Syracuse, Sicily: August 2017. (Photo: Sayou Fatti).

Thankgod, an 18-year-old Nigerian singer and percussionist: “If you’re poor and black in Libya, you die. There are so many people dying, so much shooting and fighting. There’s no peace there... I was lucky: a Nigerian man found me on the street, gave me a house, and passed me along to a boat.” Umberto Primo, Syracuse, Sicily, 2017.

Alpha, a 17-year-old boy from Sierra Leone: “I spent three years in prison in Libya. They beat you there. The Libyans are bad people.” Umberto Primo, Syracuse, Sicily, 2017.

Felix, a 19-year-old Nigerian drummer claps his rosary cross. “[In Tripoli, Libya] I left my safehouse just for a few minutes to go the supermarket. When I was walking there, four big Libyan men with guns kidnapped me and brought me to prison... They made me work in prison, like a slave, every day, building concrete houses near the prison... After one month, I escaped from work and found my way back to the safehouse.” Syracuse, Sicily: July 2018.