B., victim of torture and exploitation in Algeria
Included in Yuen, Chapter 13 of the volume
B. is a single man and was orphaned at a young age. Back in Cameroon, he lost his mother at the age of two and his father, who did not recognize him at birth, when he was six years old. B. did not meet his paternal side of the family and was raised by a maternal aunt, who treated him badly and never enrolled him in school, contrary to her children. He was marginalized because of his status as an illegitimate child, orphan, illiterate and poor. When he grew up, he left his aunt’s house and stayed with his friends. Being illiterate, the only work he could do was as a moto-taxi driver, which he secured thanks to the support of a helping person.
His friends I advised him to go to Algeria and continue to Europe, to look for a better life there. His journey to Nigeria went well but other passengers stronger than him hit him and stole his money.
B. stayed in Kano for 6 months, where he got a contract as a painter for some other small construction jobs. With his small savings, he was able to pay his transport cost to Algeria. Once he arrived in Algeria he settled in a Tamanrasset with a group of compatriots.
An African migrant, fluent in Arabic, in charge of hiring African men to work in a construction site owned by an Arab, recruited B. to work there. B. went for three months without being paid.
One day, one of the workers told B. that others had been working at the same site for 6 months without being paid. He told B. that it seemed that the boss had no intention of paying them and that he considered them as slaves. He also told him that if he tried to claim his salary he would likely get killed or turn in to the police.
When B. decided to ask for his salary, along with other migrant workers, the boss turned them to law enforcement. B. believed that is was all carried out with the complicity of their African recruiter, as he was spared while all other African workers were rounded up and deported.
B. reported several instances of physical and psychological violence during the deportation. The group of deportees was thrown off at the Niger border in the middle of the desert, where a helpful person took them in his vehicle to Agadez. Thanks to a charity of the man and the selling of his items, B. managed to pay for his transport to Niamey, where he was referred to IOM for Assisted Voluntary Return and Reintegration. B. arrived with a wounded hand because of the violent beatings he had received.