An Italian travel blogger who was on a cycling journey through Ghana has revealed how he came near death after being beaten within an inch of his life by thugs in the Central Region.
Ivan Bianconi, who runs the blog 9001 miles, revealed the harrowing experience in a post on Facebook.
Bianconi suffered his ordeal in a village called Biden, situated near Mankessim in the Central Region of Ghana.
According to the Italian, he was camping near the town when he was happened upon by some thugs who wanted to rob him.
Bianconi said that even though he was compliant, they did not simply rob him but decided to assault him as well.
He recounted a harrowing ordeal of being stripped nekkid and beaten by this group of criminals who repeatedly assaulted him with their fists and the butts of their machetes whilst dragging him towards a nearby village.
The assault continued for an hour and a half before he was saved by someone in the village who took him in and nursed him.
Bianconi says he’s now returned to Italy where he’s receiving treatment for his injuries.
Bianconi travels across the world and blogs about his experiences. According to his Facebook page, he is on a journey from Perugia, Italy to Cape Town, South Africa on his bike. He was passing through Ghana as part of that journey when the incident occurred.
Read his story below…
“Unfortunately today I am here to give you a sad news.
The last week, about 110 kilometers west of Accra in Ghana, in a detour south of the town of Mankessim, in the vicinity of a village called Biden, during the night while I was sleeping, camping somewhere in the countryside, surrounded by sugar cane fields, I was attacked by a group of boys armed with knives and machetes with the intention of robbing me.
Since they could not immediately and fast steal all my things despite my full docility and compliance, the attempted robbery turned into aggression and violence.
After the initial assault, the criminals thinking that the screams and my requests for help could be heard at the nearby village and attract attention, seized me and always forcibly, they dragged me into the same village completely naked continuing to pound my body with bare hands and hitting me with lashes of machete along all the length of my back side.
Repeatedly I was jostled, pushed and dropped with my face to the ground continuing to be paraded as a trophy along the village that remained stunned and motionless, divided between those who protested trying to defend me and those who instead enjoyed the show.
All the events lasted for at least one hour and a half, during which I continued to be mistreated, denigrated, derided, held hostage by force in the most savages and brutal ways, in an act of racism and pure madness, until, miraculously, a man from the village could dissuade the band to give me breath and managed to take me with him, making me hide for shelter and barring himself with me inside his house until the following morning, when, him together with a friend escorted me for protection outside the village til the main road and then at the police station.
Later I found full support and help from a local family that gave me the first and immediate assistance jointly at the feeling of peace and quiet, from the Italian embassy but above all from a fellow citizen with whom I was in contact and that really treated and took care of me like a brother and for which I will never have enough words to thank him.
At the clinic in Accra where I was brought, over to the various injuries, the doctors identified a broken eardrum, for which they recommended repatriation for an effective recovery.
I returned in Italy a few days ago, and by performing more in-depth checks, also jumped out a fracture of the nose and a broken metatarsal bone on my left foot for which I will have to keep the plaster for the next 30 days.
For how events have gone I feel really lucky to be able to tell what happened, in addition I was able to get back the bike and most of my equipment, with tent and sleeping mat completely smashed.
Although I knew very well that this was a risk I was running, I am very sorry and still almost incredulous as well as for the interruption of the travel, but perhaps in a major way for about what happened to me due to the really absolute and genuine kindness, hospitality, full support and help that until now I had always found from all the local people I have met, which absolutely do not deserve this stain of shame.
I only blame me for feeling too sure of myself and therefore having camped slightly too early compared to the decline of the sun, allowing people returning from field work to see me, making me easily localizable and vulnerable.
And although I firmly believe that my analysis of the facts is correct and above all at the last it was precisely the motivation for the diversity of skin color to spring violence, I would like to say that it would be wrong to make people think that it is dangerous to travel into the country more than can be anywhere else including my beautiful and beloved Italy.”