Letter from prison: Show the people who love us that we are innocent!
This letter was written and sent by Ali in June 2021 who is serving a 30 years prison sentence in an Italian prison because he was arbitrarily and wrongfully arrested for "smuggling" after he tried to reach Europe on a wooden boat in 2015 (more about the story here). Read also the letter by his co-accused friend Muhanad.
I am Ali, how are you? How is your family? I hope you are good.
I received your letter on the 16th of June, thanks for thinking about me and thanks to everyone who is willing to help and to dedicate themselves to the people who are really in need.
About my case, I firstly want to say something important: me and my friends shouldn’t be compared to anyone because we didn’t drive the boat. I saw many innocent foreign boys who are victims of an injustice system or of lack of professionality. Indeed, to put an end to investigations police usually just arrests the first person who passes by.
We have been accused and condemned to 30 years only because we are Libyans, police neither call me with the number that was written on my arm nor with a picture, they only asked me if I was from Libya, and I answered “yes”. They brought me away because I come from a country where the war reigns and only due to a bottle of water, that I didn’t even hand over, they condemned me to 30 years.
Dear xx, you have my consent and maximum availability, I authorize you to speak and write about our cases, and if it is possible to be our spokesman and spread the truth, trying to defend us from the many malicious tongues as we don’t have the possibility to protect ourselves and to show to the entire world and the people we know and who love us that we are innocent.
A recent survey showed that the majority of Italian population do not trust the justice system anymore, and I fully understand why. I would really like, one day, if it is possible, to confront with the judges that condemned me to understand why they did it and on which basis. The injustice we are victims of doesn’t end with the conviction but shows the incapacity of the magistrates who followed the case. Only one witness out of 9 accused me. I do not have expectations regarding the process, as the injustice is already going on, and the judges will never discredit the work that their colleagues did and especially because of some foreign people. If they only took into account and believed at least the 10% of what my lawyers proved them, I would have been acquitted but who knows why they didn’t do that.
I am not so good with words, but I hope to meet you one day to get to know each other better. I will not give up and I will not surrender. As long as my family is fine I will try to stay positive about this misfortune, but if something happens to them I don’t know how I will behave. I have so much anger inside, they destroyed me, but I don’t want to bother you.
I will look forward to your answer, many greetings,
- borderline-europe: From a Libyan football pitch to an Italian prison - Freedom for the four footballers!
- Middle East Eye: Libyan footballers, Sicilian fishermen and their quest for freedom
- Middle East Eye: Italian fishermen's release dashes hopes for Libyan youths in Sicilian prison
- The Guardian: Footballers and fishermen: Italy's red prawn war with Libya turns ugly
- The Incercept: Friends of the Traffickers. Italy's Anti-Mafia Directorate and "Dirty Campaign" to Criminalize Migration
Friday 25th June 2021