8 February 2019
Newsletter Borderline Sicilia – December 2018/ January 2019
- The nefarious effects of the Salvini Law
- The criminalisation of the NGOs and the case of the Sea Watch 3
THE NEFARIOUS EFFECTS OF THE SALVINI LAW
The entering into effect of the ‘Security’ decree and its conversion into law in the last month of 2018 has immediately demonstrated the devastating effects that were feared from the start. Negative responses from the Territorial Commissions have multiplied with the cancellation of humanitarian protection. Asylum seekers, even vulnerable ones, are being forced to remain in large emergency centres,* no longer transferable to the smaller SPRAR centres.* Holders of humanitarian protection are being first made homeless and then documentless. The SPRAR centres (now renamed SIPOIMI)* are being reorganised, many of them forced to close. Even those who have managed to follow a project of social inclusion and built a new life now risk remaining without documents or being transferred to a detention centre.* These centres are increasingly overcrowded, and cannot contain the revolts and breakouts that now happen on a weekly basis.
The law that was meant to make our cities “more secure” is instead creating misery and desperation, putting the blame of a country on the brink onto the shoulders of the weakest, who continue to be savagely exploited in the countryside. The fact is, there is no political or economic interest in resolving this situation. As Abdelfetah reminds us, almost no one wants to come to Italy, but are forced to instead by the Dublin regulation, signed and sealed by Italia and never mentioned by the political forces in government.
THE CRIMINALISATION OF THE NGOS AND THE CASE OF THE SEA WATCH 3
The politics of closed ports and war on the NGOs carried out by the current government is nothing other than the extremist continuation – with a now openly racist tone – of the process begun by the previous executive. The first move, carried out by Minniti two years ago, was the signing of the memorandum of understanding with Libya, which allowed the Libyan Coast Guard to take people trying to cross the Mediterranean back to the hellish prisons/camps.
The open war on the ships effecting monitoring and rescue activities at sea is an attempt to create a zone of silence in the Mediterranean, removing the only witnesses to the massacre that is continuing to take place thanks to the plans of the Italian government and European institutions. Borderline Sicilia and Oxfam Italia critically report the effects of these policies in a new report on Libya.
The latest case of the criminalisation of the NGOs, through a new show of force by the government, weighing down on migrants themselves – just as happened in the Diciotti episode – was the blocking of the Sea Watch 3 at the Syracuse coastline. Borderline Sicilia, along with the Catanian Anti-Racist Network and the Pax Christi peace organisation requested an injunction on the ministers to authorise the landing, and then deposited a request for an investigation to the prosecutor of Syracuse, denouncing the illegal detention of the shipwreck survivors on board.
* large emergency centres = CAS (centri di accoglienza straordinaria) o CARA (Centri di accoglienza per richedienti asilo)
* SPRAR = sistema di protezione per richedienti asilo e rifiugiati
* SIPROIMI = Sistema di protezione per titolari di protezione internazionale e minori stranieri non accompagnati (Protection system for holders of international protection and unaccompanied foreign minors)
* detention centre = Centro permanente per il rimpatrio
Project “OpenEurope” – Oxfam Italia, Diaconia Valdese, Borderline Sicilia Onlus
Translation by Richard Braude