13 January 2013

Askavusa: Lampedusa

Yesterday at around 6pm, a group of migrants was taken by the forces of order to within the Imbriacola Centre. The migrants had been in front of the Church Square, where migrants have been gathering for many months now. Some of the migrants are saying that attitudes within the Centre have changed in the last couple of days. Phone cards are not being given out, it is now forbidden to pray, they have been forbidden to go outside for 24 hours and have not been provided with meal vouchers for the canteen. The onlinenews channel, Libera Espressione (Free Expression), was prevented from filming the current situation and forced to cancel what had already been recorded, despite the fact the filming was taking place in a public square and there were no apparent reasons for military secrecy. Once again a strategy has been chosen which makes no sense to us. Instead of regulating how and when the migrants can come and go from the centre (no one has stopped them from moving about freely for the last month), it has been decided to forbid them moving about freely suddenly and harshly.
Instead of transferring the migrants to Centres in other parts of Italy, thereby guaranteeing them the rights they are entitled to, it has been decided that they will be imprisoned and their rights will be reduced.
Furthermore, it has been reported, yet remains unconfirmed, that €7million has been allocated for extension work to be carried out on the Centre at Imbriacola and also the migrant centre at the Loran ex-base.
We strongly oppose any provisions to increase detention centres on Lampedusa, and anywhere else for that matter. We do not want imprisonment. We underline the fact that Lampedusa should be a place which migrants pass through, even though this is a rule that is very often violated by all governments and those in political positions with the result that Lampedusa cyclically becomes a stage of suffering and injustice for both the migrants and the local population.

Ass. Culturale Askavusa sede amministrativa
Via G.Verga 1
92010, Lampedusa e Linosa (Ag)