Yesterday evening Senator Manconi gained access to the Hotspot at Pozzallo, accompanied by representatives from Caritas and ARCI*, all of whom were present in the city due to the international festival Sabir. This came after months of countless journalists, both national and international, being refused from entering by the Ministry, who provided the excuse of organisation problems. This has been an extremely serious situation as it has not permitted observation and recognition of the serious violations perpetrated within the centre for months and years.
Yesterday, again, the visitors found 142 migrants of whom there were 120 unaccompanied minors, detained for weeks at the Hotspot, as denounced in our previous reports. We have been personally informed that in the two days prior to this, the illegally detained minors had the possibility to enter the space around the hanger, as well as to leave the centre during daylight hours, a privilege which coincided with yesterday’s visit by Laura Boldrini, President of the Chamber of Deputies (hosted by the Sabir festival). But we also know that normally they are not granted permission to leave even the threshold of the Hotspot for the entirety of their illegitimate detention, which is always least (and usually much longer than) 72 hours. Some of those currently detained at Pozzallo have been there since March. This kind of practice is completely in contrast with national regulations, which dictate the immediate transfer of minors into appropriate, secure structures and completely forbid detention without authorization. This is simply the latest clear evidence of the lack of will shown in the face of the inhumane effects and illegitimate mutations of the politics of migration, which many institutions still have the gall to justify through reference to the “emergency” situation experienced at over-full centres. Without denunciation and a decisive change of system, every other activity serves simply to continue to legitimate its existence, and the horrors which it produces.
*ARCI: Italian recreational and cultural association
Translated by Richard Braude
Project “OpenEurope” – Oxfam Italia, Diaconia Valdese, Borderline Sicilia Onlus