“LasciateCIEntrare”- Full support for a European campaign against the CIEs (Immigration Detention Centres)

In front of the gates of the Serraino Vulpitta CIE
Monday 23rd April 2012
From 10 am to 1pm
Comitato 29 dicembre – Associazione Amunì – Borderline Sicilia Onlus-
ASGI (Associazione Studi Giuridici sull’Immigrazione- Association for Judicial Studies on Immigration) – Forum Antirazzista di Palermo

In front of the gates of the Pial del Lago CIE/CDA (Reception Centre)/CARA (Hosting Centre for Asylum Seekers)
Friday 27th April
From 3pm to 7pm
Sportello per Immigrati,Via Re d’Italia 14, Caltanissetta.- Forum Antirazzista di Palermo -ASGI (Associazione Studi Giuridici sull’Immigrazione) – Borderline Sicilia Onlus
Immigration Detention Centre: “journalists still having difficulty gaining access despite reassurances from the Minister of the Interior,” denounce the promoters of the “LasciateCIEntrare” campaign. Full support for an appeal and a campaign of mobilization in Italy and Europe against CIE detention for administrative reasons.

LasciateCIEntrare adheres to the European campaign Open Access Now (www.openaccessnow.eu), relaunching the mobilization in April with organizations politicians and the media throughout Europe, who will visit the Centres to draw the public’s attention to these issues. Without freedom of information, fundamental instruments of democracy are removed from a civil society and an entire country.
In Italy the mobilization to say NO to the violation of human rights, NO to silence and NO to censorship will take place from the 23rd to the 27th April.

We ask:
THE CHIEFS OF PUBLICATIONS AND JOURNALISTS: to report on what is happening in the CIEs during the week of the 23rd to the 27th April, asking the relevant prefecture for access and relaunching the initiatives of the campaign.
INTERESTED PARTIES: to join us and participate in the sit ins which will be organized in front of the CIEs (dates and times to be released shortly).
THE POLITICIANS: to review current national and international normatives.
EVERYONE: to send their support by email to the contacts mentioned below.

The campaign “LasciateCIEntrare” was set up as a result of a ban on information being released from within the CIEs (Immigration Detention Centre) and CARAs (Hosting Centre for Asylum Seekers). The implementation of the ban was featured in circular no 1305 (1st April 2011) signed by the then Minister of the Interior Roberto Maroni which blocked the media from access to the Centres. On the 25th July journalists, lawyers, trade unionists and members of numerous associations accompanied politicians from different sectors and different parties on visits to the Centres. It is a civil and political initiative to affirm the right to have access to, to inform and be informed about the conditions of thousands of migrants, men, women and minors in the Centres.
Since then we have continued to progress and last December the decision by the new Minister Anna Maria Cancellieri to suspend the ban was received with great satisfaction. Those working within the media have the right to relay what goes on within these structures.
Yet even today the suspension of the ban has not de facto guaranteed the freedom of information. Understanding and relaying what happens in these places remains extremely difficult as a result of the way in which requests for access to the Centres are dealt with. Yet thanks to the persistence of many journalists, lawyers and activists many stories about those inside have emerged from the Centres. They tell of injustices, legal- administrative errors, riots, a lack of assistance and of treatment bordering on the limit of breaches in human and civil rights.
We have seen young people born and brought up in Italy who have been locked up in CIEs, only to be freed with a sentence hanging over them, because their “foreign” parents lost their jobs and also their permits of stay. We have met potential asylum seekers, women who have been the victims of sexual abuse and those who have been treated as slaves, workers resident in Italy for years whose only fault has been that of losing their job and not finding another within a designated period of time. We have seen and heard of the absurd working conditions of those who work with the migrants.
We wonder exactly to what extent this system bears an unnecessary cost for the public administration.
We believe that regardless of our different social standing and our political positions, that holding migrants for 18 months is a further aberration of the system and its procedures.
We believe that a man or a woman cannot be deprived of their fundamental and inalienable rights such as that of personal freedom, as the result of being detained because they do not possess the correct documents.
We are aware that we are not dealing with a question that is uniquely Italian, but one which applies to the whole of Europe. It is therefore becoming more urgent to open up a debate which will lead to a review of the condition of movement of the migrants.
It is time to find an alternative solution to the detainment of migrants for administrative reasons and we believe that it is something that should be addressed immediately.
And this is something else we ask the politicians: to immediately open a national and international debate to review the terms and the content of the current norms.
Also for this reason, the LasciateCIEntrare campaign adheres to the European OPEN ACCESS NOW, relaunching the mobilization in April with organizations politicians and the media throughout Europe, who will visit the Centres to draw the public’s attention to these issues. Without freedom of information, fundamental instruments of democracy are removed from a civil society and an entire country.
Our signatures in support of this appeal serve as a means to remember and to confirm that together with strong will, our democracy can be blocked by no obstacle- neither that of human rights, that of silence or of censorship.

Names who have already pledged their support to our campaign include:
Andrea Camilleri, Erri De Luca, Ettore Scola, Enzo Iacopino (presidente of the National Order of Journalists), Stefano Disegni, Igiaba Sceigo, Dagmawi Yimer, Fabrizio Gatti, Andrea Segre, Tiziana Ferrario, Nando Dalla Chiesa, Pino Ligabue, Amarò Ternipè, Fadil Drini, Antonella Miriello, Laura Galesi, Antonello Mangano.
on Facebook: LasciateCIEntrare http://www.facebook.com/groups/102955806470541/