The tragedy of the Lebanese in a Turkish prison .. The survivors tell incredible details

The news does not end with the boats for illegal immigrants that depart from the north coast of Lebanon and end in sea, or by drowning on board or for their success in crossing territorial waters and reaching the coasts of European countries.

On 26 August, a boat with 43 people on board left the port of Tripoli in northern Lebanon, distributed among Lebanese, Syrians and Palestinians, including women, children and young people, who decided to ride the sea and risk their lives to achieve the desired dream in Italy. The Greek coast, which brought passengers back in Turkey, which in turn held them back in one of his prisons for more than two months before releasing them in succession. Thursday evening the first batch, consisting of ten, arrived in Lebanon, which will be followed by a second batch in the coming days.

They collided with our boat

About that trip from Greece to Turkey, 20-year-old Omar Al-Ganzarli told Al-Arabiya.netdescribing it as a “journey of death”, after it ended a few days ago with the return from the family in Tripoli.

He said: “We left Lebanon on August 26 via the port of Tripoli, and after a peaceful eight-day voyage, and before crossing Italian territorial waters, we were intercepted by a Greek coast guard warship and we were there. collided with our boat and nearly drowned it. The children and women started screaming, then asked us to move to their boat via the stairs. “.

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Beatings and insults by the Greeks

He also added: “As soon as we got on the Greek boat, the security men beat us with iron chains, insulted us, threw water at us and increased the speed of the boat to make us feel cold. he saw, he brought it in arm and threatened to throw it in sea ​​if she didn’t get good treatment, so her mother rushed to hug her, but the Greek soldiers came back and took the girl and then severely beat the migrants.

Omar, who can speak English, tried to communicate with the Greek soldiers, hoping to improve the way in they treated them, but only received more insults and insults. “I asked them for water to drink and they gave us a bucket of contaminated water,” she said.

After 18 hours of physical and psychological suffering, Greek Coast Guard soldiers transferred Lebanese, Syrian and Palestinian migrants to small boats within Turkish territorial waters after bringing them identity documents, telephones and personal items.

However, one of the mothers kept the phone in her purse, as it was the only means by which they contacted the Turkish coast guard, who arrived about an hour later.

Omar said: “At first the Turkish police moved us in a police station and then in a building called “the gendarmerie”in where there is a large number of Palestinian immigrants and, due to the severe overcrowding inside, we stayed in his courtyard for seven days, and the treatment was good, as we received water and food “.

prison for immigrants

After the “Jandarma” station, the 37 Lebanese immigrants were relocated in another place that should be an immigrant housing complex, but in it was actually a prison.

Omar said: “How they stayed for more than a month inside the Shangri prison, where they were mistreated (beaten and abused) and could not even go out into the courtyard except for less than two hours a day.

I did not see death in the sea, but in my Shankri

He also added that in each room were placed 12 beds for 24 migrants. “I have not seen death in sea, but I saw her in the Turkish prison of Şengari near Smyrna, “he said.

And he added: “I have been subjected to psychological and physical torture, to the point that my temperature has risen due to the torture and I have not received the necessary treatment”.

As for why he emigrated, Omar said: “I started working at the age of fifteen, and I could secure my money and pay school fees, but my situation has worsened due to the current economic crisis, so I decided to take an adventure and ride the migration boats. “

He also confirmed that he had sold his auto and his phone to secure $ 2,500 for the trip.

However, despite the physical and psychological torment he encountered during his journey across the sea, Omar said he was ready to repeat it again tomorrow, “because the situation in Lebanon is no longer bearable. “” We want to live in dignity, “he said.

Like Omar, so was his friend Ali Serhal, who returned to Beirut on Thursday evening as part of the first batch back from Turkey, where he was subjected to the worst types of physical and psychological torture by Greek Coast Guard soldiers and Turkish.

“worms in food”

He told “Some migrants have compared the Shangari prison to the Syrian prison of Palmyra because of the torture we have received from Turkish soldiers.

He added: “Every time the prison witnessed a problem among migrants, we Lebanese have been subjected to torture by Turkish soldiers for no reason.” And he added: “We have been subjected to the most horrific forms of torture inside the prison. They put worms and some kind of drugs in our food. We ate sticks every day just because we are Lebanese and Arab.”

In addition, Ali spoke of the Turkish “exploitation” of migrant issues, noting that they were forced to sign a pledge not to enter. in Turkey six months earlier today, and that they remained on its territory for 9 months – which is not true, with the aim of obtaining financial “compensation” for Ankara from the United Nations.

Interestingly, since the beginning of quest’year the International Organization for Migration recorded the arrival of about 109,000 “irregular” people in European countries bordering the Mediterranean, such as Italy, Spain, Greece, Cyprus and Malta, via land or via sea ​​.

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