This morning at 10.30, we met with the representatives of the national
campaign “LasciateCIEntrare.” It is known that the Trapani Prefecture
is not granting journalists authorisation to visit the Centre. Refusals do not
arrive writing, simply no answer arrives at all. As we cannot enter to speak to
the migrants, they come up to the windows to speak to us.
They denounce the isolation in which they have ended up. Arms and hands
are the only parts of their bodies that can pass through the iron bars. They
reveal the signs and scars of cuts self-inflicted as a form of protest. They
shout, “Help, freedom, we want to live, we are being treated like animals,
we can’t cope anymore”.
Because we are speaking about self-harming and attempted suicides. Speaking
on the phone, they tell us of a young man who had recently tried to hang
himself with sheets. We see another young man with his wrists bandaged, slit
with razor blades…
Attempted escapes continue to occur. One migrant was caught by the
police who then savagely beat him up, we are told in another phone call. He was
left with a broken finger and a broken arm. “There are no lawyers, no one
takes care of us, you are the first to have shown any interest! It’s
shameful!” Nearly everyone we spoke to told us they had not been in front
of a judge for the validation of detention.
They are from Tunisia,
Albania, Colombia, Ghana
and undoubtedly other countries as well. Some of them have been in Vulpitta for
seven or eight months. Often they have been moved on from other CIEs (Immigrant
Detention Centre) in Trapani.
And before that, they were in Bari,
Roma, Turin Centres.
There are 50 of them, in a centre with a capacity of 43. “We sleep
on the floor without mattresses, everything is dirty. There is one bathroom for
20 people, I haven’t had a shower for weeks because everything is so dirty. The
food is disgusting and we are hungry” they tell us. The police take away
some of their phones, they break any cameras and the photo function of mobile
phones. Some of those who have been inside for eight months have been on hunger
There are also two minors in the centre, we are told one of them is 17. This
is absolutely illegal. They want to speak to lawyers, but no one communicates
to them that they can call a lawyer. There is no information, no validation, no rights.
All of this goes on under the amused eyes of the agents and workers of
the Centre, “They laugh at us, they provoke us. We are afraid of police
violence.” They are beaten, there are night time beatings with batons, and
so also tonight, following our conversations, we fear the worst.
Watch the video
report: Judith Gleitze with the collaboration of Alessio Genovese
photos: J. Gleitze, borderline-europe/Borderline Sicilia, 23.4.2012