October 3rd commemorated through illegal deportations

We have learned to our disdain that last monday, September 28, the police station at Ragusa gave notice for the rejection of 22 migrants from the CSPA* at Pozzallo. Among them are 9 women, of whom two have been identified as minors, and one is pregnant.

Their nationalities: Madagascar, Comoros, Egypt and Somalia. Witnesses confirmed that the migrants, after being shown the door of the centre at about 8pm, wandered through the streets of Pozzallo for a few minutes when a bus drove up and offered them transportation to leave Sicily.

As has been revealed in recent days, in Catania, Palermo and Syracuse the authorities continue to violate fundamental rights, and to hand migrants over to the hands of traffickers ready to do business from them.

We find it unacceptable that the Ministry of the Inerior is resolving the problem of the lack of places in the reception centres by adopting unlawful measures against potential asylum seekers and vulnerable people, even discriminating migrants based on their nationalities. We fear as well that such practices are the result of the creation of ‘hotspots’ in Sicily by which the police stations, working alongside members from the European agency Frontex, is proceeding with the arbitrary division of potential asylum seekers from economic migrants, unworthy of any protection. Italy, yet again in order to appear trustworthy in maintaining commitments made at a European level, continues to trample over people’s rights. Yet again, on the day which commemorates the massacre at Lampedusa of October 3rd, the same institutions which pay their respects to the victims have given authority to abominable violations of human rights.

Borderline Sicilia Onlus

*CSPA – Centro di Soccorso e prima Accoglienza: first reception centre for migrants

Translation: Richard Braude