Radio Erena: 16 February 2015
Almost one-and-a-half years after the Lampedusa tragedy in which 366 people died, mostly Eritreans, a 34-year-old human trafficker from Somalia has been convicted and sentenced to 30 years in prison by an Italian court in the southern Sicilian city of Agrigente.
An 18-year-old Eritrean female survivor, who was rapped and tortured during her abduction, identified Mouhamud Elmi Mudhidin.
He was on the distressed and sinking boat, but managed to find a boat to take him to safety on Lampedusa, accordion to eyewitness reports.
The Italian court convicted the Somalian of human trafficking, sexual violence, and criminal association with a view to trafficking illegal migrants.
Several witnesses in the trial, including young girls, recognized him as one of the organizers of several boat crossings to Italy.
According to the witnesses, he was part of groups of Somalian fighters who had guided migrants through the desert to Libya.
Since that tragic day one-and-a-half years ago, more than 4000 have died or gone missing in the crossing, many of them refugees fleeing from war and persecution, according to the UNHCR.
Just this week the Italian coastguard reported that around 330 African migrants died trying to cross from Libya to Italy.