1100 migrants arrive in Catania, but where will they stay?

The disembarking is still going on. It is the biggest arrival of refugees in our town: there are over 1100 migrants, of whom 47 are minors, 117 are women, and nine of which are pregnant. The refugees are from Syria, Ghana, Somalia and the Congo. They were rescued from the street of Sicily by the HMS Bulwar, a ship of the British Royal Navy.
Similar to the last two times arrivals, the migrants were photographed while leaving the gangplank to allow for later identification. Afterwards, they have to wait in line for registry of their fingerprints by forensic officers. This latter action is not implemented when it comes to arrivals in Palermo. Even though representatives of IOM (International Organization for Migration), UNHCR (UN High Commissioner for Refugees) “Save the Children” were present, we noticed that migrants were not being informed sufficiently about the legal consequences of the registration of their fingerprints.

We have denounced for long that this can lead to families being torn apart and to making a shared future impossible. Are the cruelties and horrible deaths in North Africa and during the crossing of the Mediterranean Sea not enough?
When the procedures at the harbor are finished, the migrants are transferred: 150 to the province of Campania, 100 to Val d’Aosta, 100 to Veneto, 50 to Abruzzo, and the rest to the CARA* Mineo, the reception center of the province Catania. The last is a scandalous decision of the prefecture or the Minister of the Interior. Maybe they have not yet noticed that legal inadmissibility has been prevalent in this “mega- reception center of shame” for a long time and it is the asylum seekers and the Italian citizens who are paying the price for this.

Ct 8/6/2015 Rete Antirazzista Catanese


*CARA: Hosting Centre for Asylum Seekers

Translation: Annika Schadewaldt