Salim recounts how he ended up in this makeshift prison hospital. He says that just after his end-of-year exams in June, officers working for Gaddafi and close to his parents came to talk to them. “(The officers) wanted me to leave with them to take some kind of military course. That way I would be able to defend myself and to defend my family against the mercenaries and terrorists that were threatening to invade Libya.” His parents immediately agreed. “They just asked me if I was okay with that. I was,” recalls Salim. “Like my parents, I was myself a victim of the regime propaganda.”
Contrary to the promise the officers made to Salim’s parents, he was not coming back to Sabratha. Instead, he was sent to Misrata: after the pro-regime forces lost the city last May, Gaddafi wanted to recover it at all costs.