7 March 2012
Protests carried out by group of Nigerian Asylum Seekers in Palma di Montechiaro
Borderline Sicila Onlus and ASGI (Association for Judicial Studies on Immigration)- Sicily Section
The association Borderline Sicilia Onlus and the Sicilian section of ASGI (Association for the Judicial Studies on Immigration) express concern for the fate of 18 Nigerians who have barricaded themselves inside the CARA (Hosting Centre for Asylum Seekers) in Palma di Montechiaro since 4 o’clock this morning. The opening of the centre was financed by the Civil Protection’s North African Emergency.
The asylum seekers have been a state of agitation for some weeks now, due to the fact that they have been waiting since January to learn the outcome of their request for International Protection and have heard nothing whatsoever from the Police Headquarters in Agrigento.
The Nigerians had a meeting a few days ago with the manager of the Immigration Office. The outcome of which should have led to the deferment of the notifications concerning their asylum and announce their imminent transfer to the Mineo CARA as they had requested, and also to speed up a meeting with a representative from the Civil Protection in Palermo. However, following the meeting, the 18 Nigerians, worn out by the wait and the precariousness of their condition, initiated a peaceful protest with the aim of obtaining a clear answer with regard to their future in Italy.
We hope the situation can be resolved without the necessity to involve the public security forces. We expressly ask the Prefect of Agrigento to intervene using instruments of mediation, so that the protest can end peacefully and so that it will not also be these asylum seekers who have to pay the price for the cracks that exist in the Italian system of reception.
Furthermore, we invite the relative judicial authorities to take into due consideration the strong reasons which led these 18 Nigerians to opt for methods of protest, which even though extreme, are certainly proportionate to the distress which they have been through in the months they have spent in Italy, where they arrived after having little choice but to leave Lybia due to the war.
Borderline Sicilia Onlus
Asgi – Sicily section