Gambia migrant urges probe into frequent demise of Gambians in Italy

Nov 25, 2020, 12:18 PM | Article By: Yusupha Jobe

A Gambian migrant and an online counselor on migration and integration based in Germany has urged The Gambia government to investigate the “unusual demise” of Gambian migrants in Italy and other parts of Europe.

Seedy Saidykhan, a TV presenter and co-founder of What’s on Italy, a social media platform that showcases plight of Gambian migrants in European countries informed The Point in an interview via telephone that the number of unusual death circumstances of Gambian migrants in Italy and other parts of Europe has increased and become worrisome.

He stated that last year alone, over 40 Gambian migrants in Italy and other parts of Europe were reported dead; unknown circumstances surrounding their deaths. He added that most these deceased bodies got repatriated to their families back to the country for burial through an organised effort of Gambians in Europe.

“I am not saying there should not be any cause of a natural death to human beings. But the number of natural deaths reported on What’s on Italy platform and the calls I receive of deaths of Gambians, especially in Italy is worrying.”

“I can inform you that just recently four Gambian migrants have died consecutively in Italy for days; which is shocking to me. It’s not because they were shot or stabbed with a knife, but they complained of minor illness prior to their deaths. There has never been news of a Gambian migrant’s demise and is not reported on What’s on Italy media platforms.”

He affirmed that anytime a Gambian migrant’s death is reported in Europe, it’s shown on What’s on Italy platform seeking for the repatriation of the body.  

He alleged that Italy being a host country for many Gambian migrants in Europe does not have a Gambian Embassy that will look into the welfare of her citizens, stressing that the country’s representative in Italy never cares about the wellbeing of Gambian citizens.

“The only thing we want the government of the Gambia to do is to investigate the unusual demise of her citizens in Italy and also create an embassy that will look into the welfare of her citizens and understand their plights unlike a foreign counselor who does not have care for our citizens,” he stressed.

The Point’s attempt to reach the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on several occasions for comments proved futile.