Pope Francis this Sunday publicly denounced the situation of migrants repatriated to North Africa, where he said they were tortured and reduced to slavery, and asked for solutions that respect their humanity.

“How many immigrants are also today exposed to very great dangers and how many are losing their lives on our borders. I feel pain for the news of the situation in which many of them find themselves”, he said after the Angelus prayer from the window of the Apostolic Palace.

Pope Francis recalled the migrants who died in the sinking of the English Channel, those who drowned in the Mediterranean or those on the border between Poland and Belarus.

“I feel a lot of pain thinking about them, those who are repatriated to North Africa are captured by traffickers, turned into slaves, the women sold and the men tortured,” he denounced to the hundreds of faithful who listened to him in St. Peter’s Square.

The pontiff lamented that these migrants risk their lives at sea in search of “a land of well-being” and end up finding a “grave”.

“I assure the immigrants who find themselves in this situation of crisis my prayer and also my heart, I want them to know that I am close to them”, he confided.

Pope Francis also thanked all institutions, both within the Church and outside it, which are responsible for “alleviating” the suffering of migrants, calling on the civil and military authorities to contribute to solving this problem.”

“Let us think of the immigrants and their suffering and let us pray in silence”, he asked the faithful.

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