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‘I’ll die with no regrets’: Risking their lives in Mediterranean

Aboard the Ocean Viking in the Mediterranean Sea – Since 2016, almost 12,000 refugees and migrants have drowned in the Mediterranean while trying to reach Europe. 

Libya acts as a major gateway for African refugees and migrants.

There are currently more than 636,000 refugees and migrants in Libya, mostly from neighbouring countries and sub-Saharan Africa, according to the International Organization for Migration (IOM).

These people are often fleeing poverty, conflict, forced labour and other threats to their lives and wellbeing. 

Many suffer abuse and extortion en route and their arrival in Libya rarely marks the end of the dangers they face. 

“You see this,” Karim, a rescued migrant, told Al Jazeera while pointing to his shoulder. “This is where a Libyan stabbed me when I asked for money for the work I did for him.”

He then pointed to his right leg.

“This is where I was shot while waiting for work in Tripoli. There is complete lawlessness there. Everyone has guns and knives. There are no rights for black people, even someone who has been stabbed or shot.”

Florent, from Cameroon, was another migrant rescued from an overcrowded rubber boat in distress in the Mediterranean after he managed to escape Libya.

“If I die right now, I’ll die with no regrets. I’ve managed to escape Libya. It was hell. Nothing less than hell,” he said.

Names have been changed to protect identity*

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