6 November 2018
Newsletter BORDERLINE SICILIA- October 2018
- After October 3rd: Witness Accounts and Analysis
- The Riace Case and State Racism
- Landings and Rescues Continue in the Mediterranean
AFTER OCTOBER 3RD: WITNESS ACCOUNTS AND ANALYSIS
Five years since the tragic event that saw 368 migrants die off the coast of Lampedusa, no policy decision has been made that might put an end to the deaths at sea. Instead, the refusal to open any legal routes by which to arrive in Europe, and the externalisation of border controls has simply increased human trafficking and related death. MEDU confirmed this analysis during a pres conference called for the anniversary of the massacre. Despite the medical organisation having repeatedly emphasised and documented the dehumanising situation faced by migrants detained in Libya, Italy continues to do deals with the Libyan government and push back migrants who, having suffered torture and degrading treatment, ought be offered assistance in relation to post-traumatic stress disorder. https://www.borderlinesicilia.org/en/lampedusa-3-october-2013-the-shipwreck-of-truth/
THE RIACE CASE AND STATE RACISM
October 6th saw a day of national mobilisattions against the government’s criminal policies. Six thousand people demonstrated in Riace against the arrest of the Mayor, Domenico Lucano, who is accused of aiding and abetting illegal immigration and the illegal entrusting of services, despite the international recognition he has received to his reception and integration policies. The demonstration saw the participation of many migrants housed in Riace as well as associations, political movements and trade unions, in solidarity with the Mayor who was under house arrest – and has now been banned from the town.
In Palermo, SOS Mediterranée launched a petition for the liberation of the Aquarius, blocked at the port of Marseille, having had its flag removed by the Panama authorities after pressure from the Italian government. The Palermo Anti-Racist Forum was also present, expressing solidarity with the Mayor of Riace as well.
Lucano’s arrest and the criminalisation of the rescue ships are jigsaw pieces in a large picture, the government’s expanding project that reached its darkest moment with the new “immigration and security” law, signed by the Interior Minister, Salvini, which removes humanitarian protection and dismantles the SPRAR system.
LANDINGS AND RESCUES CONTINUE IN THE MEDITERRANEAN
Despite the closure of the ports and the “zero tolerance” policies of Salvini, migration continues across the Mediterranean Sea, taking new forms and evolving in reaction to the Italian government’s policies.
In this difficult moment, the rescue ship’s work of monitoring and saving lives has become as necessary as it is complex.
The US Navy Ship Trenton found that it had to rescue a rubber boat going down off the coast of Libya – despite their efforts, 76 people died in the circumstances. Mediterranea organised a press conference to explain the work carried out by the Mare Jonio over the last month. Sea Watch announced that the Sea Watch 3, after four long months held in port at Malta, has now taken to the sea again, and after necessary maintenance will return to carrying our search and rescue operations. https://www.borderlinesicilia.org/en/the-landings-never-stop/
Project “OpenEurope” – Oxfam Italia, Diaconia Valdese, Borderline Sicilia Onlus
Translation by Richard Braude