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African Migrants Seek Aid in Rome
Rome
By Francesco Pistilli
15 Jun 2015

Hundreds of refugees and asylum seekers from the Horn of Africa gather and seek help to cope with their humanitarian situation at the Baobab Center, a small aid association in Rome. 

They are rescued from boats in Lampedusa and now wait for the chance to depart to Northern Europe. Baobab is a citizen association with volunteers that gives aid to refugees by providing food and shelter.

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Asylum Seekers in Spain 22
Barcelona, Spain
By Albert Gonzalez Farran
20 May 2015

Yaya Ouahara arrives at home, in Barcelona, which he shares with two other males from Ivory Coast and Morocco.
Yaya, 36, from Ivory Coast, arrived in Spain in 2009 by a small boat and after three years traveling through Africa. Yaya fled the civil war in his country and he recently got residence permit to stay in Spain permanently.

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Asylum Seekers in Spain 23
Barcelona, Spain
By Albert Gonzalez Farran
20 May 2015

21 May 2015. Barcelona:
Yaya Ouahara, who is Muslim, prays in the bedroom of his apartment, in Barcelona, which he shares with two other males from Ivory Coast and Morocco.
Yaya, 36, from Ivory Coast, arrived in Spain in 2009 by a small boat and after three years traveling through Africa. Yaya fled the civil war in his country and he recently got residence permit to stay in Spain permanently.

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Asylum Seekers in Spain 24
Barcelona, Spain
By Albert Gonzalez Farran
20 May 2015

Yaya Ouahara, who is Muslim, prays in the bedroom of his apartment, in Barcelona, which he shares with two other males from Ivory Coast and Morocco.
Yaya, 36 years old from Ivory Coast, arrived in Spain in 2009 by a small boat and after three years traveling through Africa. Yaya fled the civil war in his country and he recently got residence permit to stay in Spain permanently.

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Asylum Seekers in Spain 25
Barcelona, Spain
By Albert Gonzalez Farran
20 May 2015

Yaya Ouahara, who is Muslim, prays in the bedroom of his apartment, in Barcelona, which he shares with two other males from Ivory Coast and Morocco.
Yaya, 36, from Ivory Coast, arrived to Spain in 2009 by a small boat and after three years traveling through Africa. Yaya fled the civil war in his country and he recently got residence permit to stay in Spain permanently.

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Europe-bound Migrants Held in Libyan ...
Misrata
By Mohamed Lagha
20 Apr 2015

Misrata, Libya
April 21, 2015

Dozens of men, women and children are held in deplorable conditions in a jail in Misrata, controlled by the security forces loyal to the Islamist Libyan government in Tripoli. The detainees who appear in this video, most of whom come from east African countries, were caught in Libya on their way to try to reach Europe. An office that controls immigration is deporting the detainees to their countries through their countries’ embassies in Tunisia. However, Somalian and Eritrean detainees cannot return because of the instability plaguing their countries. Some of them have been in this prison for five months.

An interviewed female detainee from Eritrea, who introduced herself as Yodit, said that she was arrested with her cousin and other immigrants in the Libyan desert as they were heading to Europe. The group had started their clandestine journey in Khartoum, Sudan. Yodit said that they spent one month on the road before being arrested. By the time of the interview, she had spent two weeks in custody and was worried that her family back home might think that she was dead. The woman, who appears to be in her twenties, also complained that the detention center is overcrowded and lacks proper ventilation.

Various shots of detainees.

TRANSCRIPT
Soundbite (Arabic/English, Woman) Yodit, Female Eritrean detainee

00:48 – 04:14

"Q: What is your name? [Arabic]

A: What? [Arabic]

Q: Your name. [Arabic]

A: Yodit.

Q: How long have you been here?

A: Just one week.

Q: One week?

A: Yeah.

Q: Where are you from?

A: From Eritrea.

Q: You came by… the desert?

A: Yeah, the desert.

Q: How exactly? Through which country?

A: By the Khartoum to the Libya desert. [UNINTELLIGIBLE] When [we] came here, they catch us.

Q: Where?

A: In the desert of Libya.

Q: Where?

A: In Libya, but the place exactly, what it’s called…. I don’t know.

Q: In the desert, or a gate?

A: Desert, desert.

Q: The desert?

A: Yeah.

Q: Is it near from here?

A: I think [it is] far.

Q: One hour? Two hours? How much time?

A: Four hours from here.

Q: And then what are you doing here? What did they tell you?

A: We want to travel to Europe. So they catch us, they arrest us… even before here, just one week another place, the place which kept us. We came also here one week. That means two weeks under arrest. So they… you see they are stand up all night here. The [UNINTELLIGIBLE] is bad It smells bad all night. There is no air. The place is bad, really. [UNINTELLIGIBLE]The condition is bad, seriously.

Q: What did they tell you? Did they tell you that they are going out? Did they call your embassy?

A: No. No phone. We families don’t know where we are.

Q: They didn’t call your families?

A: Yeah. Because we don’t have a phone here. So no one knows where they are. I don’t know. Maybe our families they think [we] die or something.

Q: You are here alone? You don’t have any family here?

A: She’s my cousin. So we are two.

Q: Now you are here for one week.

A: Here. But another place also one week. The way…. but one month is in the way in the desert. We are hungry, there is no water, there is no anything. We were about to die. But that is good, they save us and keep us here. But I don’t know [UNINTELLIGIBLE] about time I don’t know anything.

Q: Thank you.

A: You’re welcome. Thank you, too.”

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Sahrawi Dreams: The Western Sahara's ...
Tindouf, Algeria
By Ferran Garcia
24 Feb 2015

Sun, sand and patience abound for natives of the Western Sahara, many of whom have survived the last 38 years in the Algerian hamada thanks to international aid. In 1976, the independence movement, the Polisario Front, proclaimed the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic (RASD) in what is today called the Western Sahara just as Spain, the former colonial power, withdrew from the territory. This land has since been the subject of dispute between Mauritania and Morocco, the country which occupies almost all of it to date.

On 12 January 2007, Nicaragua joined the African Union and the 45 world nations which recognise the sovereignty of RASD. No European country either recognises the RASD as a sovereign entity, or the annexation carried out by Morocco. Meanwhile, 260,000 inhabitants of the Western Sahara are currently living in an effective no-man’s land claimed by Morocco. There, local institutions have no power and are not given any public assistance.

Neighbouring Algeria, a firm defender of Western Saharan independence, provides refuge to 160,000 Sahrawis in the desert surrounding the Algerian province of Tindouf. Isolated from the rest of the world, they depend on what the European NGO lorries take from the port of Oran to the south of the country. Here, a generation raised abroad is beginning to question how long it will be before a referendum is held. Many of these young men do not rule out returning to arms.

ARTICLE UPON REQUEST

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Malta's 'Stranded' Immigrants
Malta
By Tobias Selnaes Markussen
21 Feb 2014

After risking their lives crossing the Mediterranean, thousands of African immigrants are trapped in Malta halfway between the African continent and the European dream. They are stuck in a frustrating limbo without opportunities to work or to travel further in search of security and a future.

Militant group Al-Shabaab told me that I could either work for them or die,” says journalist Ahmed Nuur Ibrahim, who arrived by boat from Libya 6 months ago.Like most of the immigrants he arrived by accident to the small island, while attempting to sail to mainland Europe. Now he hopes that he can one day be reunited with his wife and two children.

Mohammed, 51, has been in Malta for eight years without official papers, but he has managed to get a job working in construction and a small apartment on his own. He says, that he can’t return to his home country of Niger, where his entire family was killed. 

Many immigrants from West African countries experience, that the Maltese authorities does not recognize them as a refugees, as there are not enough problems in their home countries. Malta does not have the resources to return them, so they end up living as second-class citizens without papers or rights.

"Malta has not given me anything, and I can not move elsewhere. I feel trapped," says Mohammed, who dreams about being able to travel, so he can go to Norway and start a new life.

The pressure from the large number of immigrants is huge, and since Malta’s accession to the EU in 2004, the country has received approximately 17,000 immigrants, which is proportionally equivalent to 2,5 million people arriving at the coasts of Great Britain in the same period.

Malta is crying for help, but so far the European Union has not done much to help them solve a problem, that is only growing bigger and bigger. In 2013, 700 people died on their way to either Malta or Italy. The number of dead rose more than four times in 2014 to 3,224.

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Another Sky: An Uruguayan journey 20
Senda Peatonal Rambla, Montevideo 11200, Uruguay
By Francesco Pistilli
01 Feb 2014

A woman carries an idol of Yemanja at Playa Ramirez, Montevideo. On February 2nd of each year, thousands walk from the beaches to the sea to honor Yemanja, Goddess of the Sea. Yemanja is an Orisha, representing the ocean and is believed the essence of motherhood and a fierce protector of children.

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Another Sky: An Uruguayan journey 30
Plaza Independencia, Montevideo, Uruguay
By Francesco Pistilli
20 Jan 2014

Jose Gervasio Artigas is considered by many the father of Uruguay. Soldiers still guard his tomb in Montevideo's Plaza Independencia, a tribute to the man who fought to free the country. Artigas' life and victories are portrayed on the walls of the mausoleum alongside images portraying events in Uruguayan history. Today national identity is a historical blend resulting from the struggle to maintain freedom from Spain and later from Argentina and Brazil; gaucho culture; African slave roots; political caudillismo; and European cultural and intellectual models.

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I am 220
trapani, italy
By Jeffry Ruigendijk
15 Oct 2013

Photo by: Refugee 220
View through the door of the gym that now serves as the new home of refugee no. 220

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I am 220
Trapani, italy
By Jeffry Ruigendijk
15 Oct 2013

Photo by: Refugee 220
A refugee walks through the old gym that now serves as a refugee camp.

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I am 220
trapani, italy
By Jeffry Ruigendijk
15 Oct 2013

Refugee story from Sicily, Italy, including photos made by the refugee in his camp.

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I am 220
trapani, italy
By Jeffry Ruigendijk
15 Oct 2013

Photo by: Refugee 220
The floor of the gym, that now serves as a refugee camp, is covered in mattresses.

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I am 220: Surviving a Migrant Boat Di...
Trapani, Italy
By Transterra Editor
11 Oct 2013

October 15, 2013
Trapani, Italy

"I am 27 years old, originally I came from Nigeria. I crossed from Libya to Italy in a small boat. 105 people went with me and 103 of them survived," said Refugee 220.

In Sicily I stumbled upon a fenced camp in the harbor town of Trapani. At this camp I met number 220. He is one of about 800 people who crossed over from Africa to Italy in the last three weeks. After the tragedy of the third of October, the sea has become a human cemetery. Number 220 is one of the lucky ones. He made it to land.

Number 220 says he was living in Libya, but the situation there drove him to attempt the crossing. He survived, but two women on his small boat died before a commercial ship took them on board. Eventually they ended up in an old gym in Trapani. He spends his days here with 85 other young men. ‘This is already better than Libya, I feel safe here and don’t hear gunshots anymore.’

The men in the gym have no idea what will happen to them. They don’t speak a word of Italian and the guards of the camp don’t speak English. They are totally in the dark about their status and tell me I am the first person to speak English to them since they arrived.

Since the guards don’t give me any information either, and won’t let me enter the camp, number 220 and me decide to meet outside the camp. Here I give him a disposable camera, so he can show me his life inside the camp. ‘I don’t do much inside, mainly sleep and sit on the patio with other guys from Nigeria. And wait.’

The quality of these analogue photos is not the best. Number 220 is not a professional photographer. But in my opinion his slightly dark, bleakly colored and out of focus photos perfectly reflect 220’s life at the moment. He lives on the edge of our society. His name is Louis. He could be a friend.

Photos and Text By:
Berta Banacloche / Jeffry Ruigendijk / Refugee 220

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I am 220
trapani, italy
By Jeffry Ruigendijk
11 Oct 2013

Photo by: Refugee 220
Refugees pass time on their mattresses inside the old gym that now serves as a refugee camp.

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I am 220
Trapani, italy
By Jeffry Ruigendijk
11 Oct 2013

Photo by: Refugee 220
The basket now serves as a drying rack for refugees in an old gym in Trapani.

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I am 220
trapani, italy
By Jeffry Ruigendijk
11 Oct 2013

Photo by: Refugee 220
View from the patio, through the eyes of refugee no. 220.

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Egyptian-Israeli border.
egypt
By Mohammed El Akhrasy
10 Oct 2013

Video about : African smuggling from Sinai to Israel through illegal crossings.