Letter from Mussie Zerai on the affairs at Lampedusa

The Honourable Angelino Alfano,
Interior Minister

The Honourable Dr Francesca
Ferrandino, Prefect of Agrigento

I am writing this open letter to you
in order to ask for a logical explanation, assuming that there is one, for what
we have seen happening at Lampedusa shown on the TV news (TG2 Rai),
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XL7M3ykTci0 in which the guests at the reception
centre are disinfected like animals in the open air, exposed to the elements,
in winter, above all without any respect to their human dignity, methods which
have only ever been seen in the documentary films of the concentration camps in
which the Jews were subjected to similar treatment by the Nazis.

What I would like to know is if this
procedure is a policy of ‘reception’ provision to which your office has given
its consent, or whether it is an initiative of the management of the centre to
subject people to humiliating and degrading acts such as these? I wonder what
became of all those good intentions during and after the visit of Holy Father
Pope Francis following the tragedy of October 3 in which many fine words
regarding the respect of the PERSON and the overcoming of indifference

were spoken when within two months
we witness scenes which, if offensive enough for those watching, must be
unimaginably so for those undergoing such treatment. The Lampedusa centre, which
should not accommodate more than 250 people, is found to be accommodating 700

They should not stay there more than
48 hours and yet there are people who have been there for more than two months,
some of whom are the survivors of the tragedy that occurred in October. The
conditions within the “reception” centres are already well known, in which
guests are forced to confront innumerable discomforts and disservices, but what
we have recently learnt from Tg2 news goes beyond all limits in a country which
professes to be civilized.

It is my hope that you, Mr Minister,
intervene immediately to reestablish and guarantee treatment that is humane and
respectful to the dignity of human beings.

Fr. Mussie Zerai

Chairman of Habeshia Agency

Cooperation for Development

E-mail: agenzia_habeshia@yahoo.it



Phon: +41(0)765328448

Translation: Denise Wesley