MONDAY, AUGUST 16
Aboard our ship, we are assisting the survivors. We serve tea and biscuits, prepare lunch and dinner, our doctor and nurse check temperature and conditions of everybody. We have to take care of the children as well: we distribute small boys for the infants (the youngest of our guests are 8 and 9 months old), pencils and colouring books for the other kids. Some boys are sleeping, some other talk, we put some music on to try to distract them from the main question that’s on everybody’s mind: “When will we be allowed to disembark?”. We say we don’t know, we have to wait.
As the hours pass, it’s more and more difficult to answer their questions. These people have been suffering enough: in their Country of origin, crossing the desert, held as slaves in Libya, stranded at sea. As the hours pass, they’re increasingly scared about the possibility of a pushback. We go on reassuring them: no, we would never, never bring them back to Libya.