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Newsline: Migrants say Swedish embassy ‘indirectly’ told them to travel illegally

A group of immigrants who survived the latest tragic sinking in the Mediterranean claim they made the voyage after being denied visas by the Swedish embassy in Tripoli. “They told us they could not give us visas, so indirectly we were being told that to be granted asylum we had to leave Libya illegally and make our way to Sweden,” Syrian national Imad Hasan told Times of Malta yesterday. “It is this illogical thinking that almost forces people like me to embark on such a voyage.” The 47-year-old university graduate considers himself “very lucky” his whole family was alive and that he, his wife Amal and their three children, Belal, 12, Bara, 10, and Ula, six, all survived the voyage, in which dozens of migrants perished. Mr Hasan said that the boat started to get into trouble when Libyan militiamen shot at it “for hours”. Asked what made him leave Libya where he was living for three months after fleeing the war in Syria, Mr Hasan said: “The living conditions are desperate. We just couldn’t continue living there. There is no future for my children.


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