A young man from Gambia who had been living in Italy for two years has committed suicide. The Babele association, a refugee support group, said that his asylum request had been rejected and that ”he wanted to go back to Africa but he was afraid that he would be seen as a failure and was ashamed. He thought he had no other choice.”
A 22-year-old Gambian man killed himself on Monday (15 October) after being denied political asylum and reportedly due to ”feeling like a failure”. The young man had been living in Italy for the past two years. He hanged himself from a ledge of a terrace in Castellaneta Marina.
The Babele association reported the news and is raising funds to send his body back to his home country.
Italian interior ministry sources say that the deceased had a stay permit that would have expired in March 2019. He had submitted a request for refugee status that was rejected on December 7, 2016. He had then filed an appeal and on October 12 the judge had held back his decision and thus had not given a final ruling.
The sources say that the young man’s friends had told carabinieri that the act had been “due to a state of depression. Investigators say that the 22-year-old had also said that he planned to go back to Gambia through assisted voluntary repatriation.”
An activist from the Babele association said: ”he decided to kill himself at age 22. He had received a rejection. He could not stay here in Italy any longer, in accordance with the law. And this is how the life of a boy like many others has ended, in which violence and years of hardship had produced a dull pain that was never dealt with. We will now bring his body back to his village in Gambia.”
Funds being raised to take body back to Gambia
The 22-year-old was initially in reception facilities in the Lecce area but was later transferred to Castellaneta Marina, where he worked at occasional jobs. After his request for refugee status was rejected, ”he was never at peace again”, the sources said.
The Babele association has opened a bank account for donations – calls for which have been made through social networks – to take his body back to his native land. The money is needed quickly, they said, ”about 5,000 euros to pay the funeral services company that would be tasked with taking his body back. We will make his last wish come true.”