The migrant who attempted to set a bus full of children on fire earlier this year has claimed that populist leader Matteo Salvini is to blame for his actions due to his closed-port policies.
Ousseynou Sy, who attempted to light a bus on fire containing 50 children in March to protest the deaths of migrants in the Mediterranean sea, claimed in court that he was not a terrorist and that Senator Salvini was responsible for deaths of migrants in the Mediterranean, il Giornale reports.
According to the Senegalese-background man, Salvini was “responsible for the deaths of children and other people in the Mediterranean” and went on to allege that Salvini was involved in “crimes against humanity”.
He added that the closure of Italy’s ports to migrant transport NGOs, a policy spearheaded by Salvini which led to a reported decline in drownings, prevented the rescue of migrants at sea and added that Africa has “always been the object of bullying by the West”.
Italy: African School Bus Attacker Unrepentant, Would Do It a Hundred Times https://t.co/PpwRhtmihB
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) March 23, 2019
“I hope that justice will also be done for us Africans. I, too, am a child of Africa, that Africa that you know very well, that has seen its children stripped of human dignity, of every right to serenity, happiness, even today,” Sy added.
Salvini replied to the comments stating: “I await the learned comments of newspapers, intellectuals, and various claims. At least someone will agree with this delinquent, shall we bet?”
The attempted attack by Sy in March saw no children injured thanks to swift action by Italian police to ram it off the road and allowed the children to escape.
“He handcuffed us and threatened us. He said that if we moved, he would pour gasoline and light the fire. He kept saying that people in Africa die and the fault is Di Maio’s and Salvini’s. Then the carabinieri [police] saved us,” one of the children told police at the time.
Only days after the attack, Sy told Italian magistrates he had no regrets, saying: “Repent? No repentance. It was something I had to do, and I would do it again. A Hundred times. Why did I do that? To send a signal to Africa. Africans have to stay in Africa.”