No one could say they didn’t know

The tacit renewal of the Memorandum between Italy and Libya is yet another unfortunate event in the political history of this country. A political agreement that has never been discussed and approved by the Italian Parliament as outlined in Article 80 of the Constitution.

Migrants in a detention centre in Libya – stock photo

The horrors of the detention camps rife with torture, violence and rape, which have been documented by reports from the United Nations and numerous press inquiries, are – and will continue to be – financed by Italy and Europe through financial support for militias and so-called Libyan coastguards, namely traffickers and gangs of criminals: those same traffickers who are invited by the Italian institutions and with whom a political dialogue is held.

On Thursday October 31st, in response to the question time on the suspension of agreements, the Minister of Foreign Affairs said that the memorandum should be preserved but with some changes, namely the usual fig leaf that is the presence of international organizations inside the infernal detention camps.

On this side of the sea, we continue to gather the horrific testimonies of those who manage to make it to our shores alive, but who are unlikely to be able to have a normal life once settled. While the sea is emptied of rescue ships and witnesses of crimes against humanity, on land the system of protection and reception is dismantled, forcing people to become illegal. One year since the establishment of the security decree – which persists with no talk of abolition or even modification by the government – the effects of the abolition of humanitarian protection and of minimum standards of reception are daily before the eyes of those who see more and more people slip between the cracks of the system.

And while public opinion is now totally conditioned by the propaganda machine of the extreme right, in a context of real democratic emergency, on Thursday 31st of October we also witnessed 98 members of parliament of the Italian Republic abstain from voting on Senator Liliana Segre’s proposal to set up an extraordinary committee against the phenomena of hatred, racism and anti-Semitism, writing yet another black page to the history books of this country.

In these years Borderline Sicilia has denounced the horrors of Libya together with Oxfam Italia.

And together with all the other organisations which every day collect the testimonies of these ongoing abuses for which we are directly responsible, we will continue to denounce until all this comes to an end.

Editorial Borderline Sicilia

Translation by Francesca Cavallo