Separated at sea: father's desperate fear for boy held in Libyan camp

Photo of Separated at sea: father's desperate fear for boy held in Libyan camp
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Chica Camara fled Sierra Leone but his 10-year-old son was caught and now faces the threat of violence and torture

One night in March, a packed dinghy was afloat in the Mediterranean. Thirty metres ahead was a rescue ship but giving chase was a Libyan coastguard vessel. If it reached the boat it would send its passengers back to Libya and into militia-run detention centres. So they paddled harder, using their hands and feet.

Among them were a father and his 10-year-old son, Chica and Alfonsine Camara. The dinghy crashed into the rescue ship and dozens were thrown into the sea, Chica among them. He looked around frantically for Alfonsine, who had been at his side since leaving Sierra Leone. He screamed as he saw him on the dinghy, now drifting dangerously towards the Libyans.

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