his house and left the country without authorization the following day. The complainant
was unaware of the players’ plan to leave the country. The act of leaving the country
without authorization is illegal and punishable as a criminal offence in Eritrea. Later that
day, three soldiers came to the complainant’s house with an arrest warrant, accusing him of
having helped the football players leave the country. He was handcuffed and taken to a
prison in Agordat.
The complainant was detained in Agordat for two months. He was tortured once or
twice a week with the aim of making him reveal the names of the persons who had helped
the players leave the country. During the interrogation sessions, his hands and feet were
tied up, he was battered with sticks, kicked, slapped, punched, insulted and humiliated. His
interrogator threatened to kill him on several occasions and regularly asked the prison
wardens why the complainant was still alive and why they had not killed him yet. After two
months, the complainant was transferred to the prison at Hamashai Medeber where he was
detained for another two months, one and a half months of which he spent in isolation. In
April 2008, he was taken to Sembel prison in Asmara, where he was sentenced to seven
years’ imprisonment for attempting to leave the country illegally. The sentence was later
shortened to five years for reasons that were never explained to him. The complainant never
had the opportunity to contest his sentence in any way; he did not have access to a lawyer
and was never brought before a judge. In Sembel, he was in isolation for six months in a
cell that only had very small windows at the top. In April 2010, he was transferred to Jufa
prison, in Keren, where he was isolated for six months in a small cell of one square metre.
In January 2013, having completed his sentence, the complainant was released. In sum, he
endured torture, ill-treatment, malnourishment, illness and verbal abuse and threats on a
daily basis during his detention.
In June 2013, the complainant tried to leave the country but the authorities arrested
him in Alabou. He was imprisoned in Adi Omer, which the complainant describes as a huge
underground prison made of earth, which he often heard falling from the ceiling, and in
which there were snakes. He was constantly battered covered in oil to reduce the scars. He
was tied to a chair with his hands behind his back and interrogated. He was hit with sticks
and with rubber. He was told he would not leave the prison alive. He was hit on his lower
abdomen and subsequently suffered from haematuria (blood in his urine). He did not
receive any medical treatment. He was frequently confronted with the screams of others
being tortured, which affected him severely. In July 2013, he was transferred to Aboy
Rugum, where he was forced to undergo military training until December 2013. Afterwards,
he was sent to Keren as a soldier, with the task of surveying the border and arresting
persons likely to leave the country.
In July 2014, unable to continue imposing on others the same fate that he had
suffered, the complainant left Eritrea, crossing on foot from the Eritrean border city of
Agordat into Sudan. At Kassala, he was intercepted by the Sudanese authorities who
transferred him to a refugee camp at Wedi Sherify for a brief period. He was then
transferred to Shegereab for two months, continuing from there to Khartoum, where he
stayed until July 2015. From Khartoum, he crossed the Sahara by car to Libya. After
reaching Tripoli, he was kidnapped and detained for 10 days by a gang of smugglers who
demanded $3,500 from each of the 42 migrants in his group. None of them could pay the
ransom and they were ill-treated until their release by a rival gang of smugglers.
The complainant boarded an overcrowded boat for the crossing to Italy. After a short
time at sea, the boat was intercepted by the Italian authorities (Italian navy or coastguard)
and he was brought to Italy and transferred to Milan. At a police station in Verona, the
Italian authorities took his fingerprints. After four days, during which time the complainant
was sheltered by a non-governmental organization, he travelled onwards to Switzerland by
train. He submits that he never formally submitted an asylum application in Italy.
On 9 September 2015, he requested asylum in Switzerland. On 16 September 2015,
the complainant was interviewed by the Swiss authorities to register his asylum request.
By letter of 23 October 2015, the State Secretariat for Migration notified the
complainant of its decision to order his removal from Switzerland to Italy in application of
Regulation No. 604/2013 of the European Parliament and of the European Council of 26