5 December 2018
Newsletter BORDERLINE SICILIA – November 2018
- The Salvini Law: Italy’s Worrying Regression in Human Rights
- Inhumane Living Conditions And Tragic Stories
- The Rhetoric of Closed Ports and the Criminalization of the NGOs
THE SALVINI LAW: ITALY’S WORRYING REGRESSION IN HUMAN RIGHTS
Humanitarian organisations, trade unions and a large part of civil society are continuing their struggle against the ‘immigration and security’ decree, signed off by Savlini, Minister of the Interior, and voted through on a vote of confidence by both houses thus converted into law. The new instrument takes aim at rights guaranteed by the Italian constitution and will generate a mass of people without documents forced to live in the street and condemned to invisibility within cycles of exploitation.
For this reason, thousands of people demonstrated in Rome on November 10th, showing that an important section of both the Italian and migrant population is not in agreement with the measures peoposed by the government, expressing their opposition to an instrument that will effect the rights of everyone.
This opposition has arrived from sectoral and professional organisations as well, sucha s the 330 Sicilian psychologists who have signed up to the movement ‘psychologisys with migrants”, underlining the devastating effects that this new law will have on the most vulnerable people. https://www.borderlinesicilia.org/en/inseparable/
INHUMANE LIVING CONDITIONS AND TRAGIC STORIES
The political climate in Italy has reached an inheard of level of intolerance and hostility, with a direct effect in an exponential increase in episodes of physical and verbal aggresion against migrants. Powerless, we are witnessing a decrease in rescues at sea and a consequent increase in the number of deaths due to the deals struck with Libya. The conditions of detention in the Libyan camps are burnt into the skin of those who arrive in Europe, always in more desparate conditions. Faced with all of this, the most vulnerable peple are relegated to the most invisible places int he country, such as the emergency camps and former barracks (CAS and CARA*] located in a countryside where labour is organised through work-gangs, so that their underprivileges situation does not ‘infect’ the citizen population, who either does not or pretends not to see what is going on.
In order to make these invisible people visible and show the inhumane conditions in which such migrants live after they have landed in Fortress Europe, after already having suffered the attrocious conditions of the Libyan prisons, Borderline Sicilia helped organise the play ”Invisibles”, within the European project “Brücken statt Mauern – over borders”, on December 7th in Palermo. Mohamed Ba told the story of two African citizens who meet during their arrival in Itlay, struggling together against poverty, demonstrating the terrifying conditions that migrants must pass through before landing in Italy. https://www.borderlinesicilia.org/en/the-abused/ https://www.borderlinesicilia.org/en/mohamed-ba-the-invisibles/
THE RHETORIC OF CLOSED PORTS AND THE CRIMINALIZATION OF THE NGOS
The coalition government is trying to show itself capable of maintaning its electoral promises, which for the League means reducing immigration and allowing ever fewer migrants into the country. The data provided by the Ministry and the UNHCR show how there has indeed been a fall in the number of arrivals, but also that this is not due to the establishment of the new government and the rhetoric of the closed ports, but rather to the agreement with Libya signed by the former Minister of the Interior, Minniti.
The current government is continuing talks with libya. The most recent and farcical summit regarding the country, held in Palermo, took place despite all the witness counts about the hell of the Libyan concentration camps and the continues massacres at sea. Furthermore, the criminalisation of the NGOs continues, as well as the impossibility for humanitarian organisation operating at sea to carry out their monitoring work — work which has allowed the saving of thousands of lives over recent years. This is shown by the most recent case, that of the Nuestra Madre de Loreto, a fishing ship that rescued 12 people but was then forced to stay out at sea for days before receiving any authorisation to land in a EUropean port.
* CAS and CARA = Centri di accoglienza straordinaria e Centri di accoglienza pe richedienti asilo (Extraordinary Reception Centres and Centres for Asylum Seekers)
Project “OpenEurope” – Oxfam Italia, Diaconia Valdese, Borderline Sicilia Onlus
Translation by Richard Braude