Surviving Eritreans of shipwreck from 3rd of October are transferred from Lampedusa to Pozzallo

Being transferred from the CSPA (First Reception Centre) of Lampedusa on Sunday 12th of January, thus after more than 100 days on the island, the seven Eritreans (six men and one woman), who are survivors of the shipwreck of 3rd of October, have finally left Lampedusa. Leaving the island by ship in the late morning, they arrived at Porto Empedocle at 20 pm. On Monday, they got accompanied to the court in Palermo, where they had to testify in the ongoing case against the alleged smuggler. At the end of the hearing, they were brought to the CSPA (First Reception Centre) of Pozzallo, without being notified about it, before.After arriving there in the evening, the migrants were “welcomed” by the usual procedures of taking their fingerprints, which they refused to give. Most probably due to this refusal, the seven Eritreans were prohibited to leave the centre and supervised by the police – in contrary to the other “guests” in Pozzallo. Despite all these measures, we have learned that the group has left the centre. Once again, we are confronted with yet another form of arbitrary detention, which is even more severe, if we consider the horror these people have lived through, recently. Due to being willing to cooperate with the Italian authorities, they have been kept in a centre for a longer time and under more inhuman conditions than other migrants. After having survived the shipwreck of 3rd of October, and being detained for another 3 months without taking any measures, they are now tranferred to be detained in Pozzallo, thus in a facility, which is not even a CARA (Migrant Accomodation Centre), but a CSPA (First Reception Centre), where – as we would like to recall – migrants should not stay longer than 48 – 72 hours. However, this regulation is not followed for some time now, as proved by a hunger strike, launched by some “guests” in the facility on 12th of January, to protest for being transferred to more appropriate centres directly. The major inconveniences in the centre, as reported by the Committee “Restiamo Umani” (“Let’s Stay Human”) in Pozzallo, are firstly the overcrowding, secondly the inadequancy of the facility for the winter period (due to the lack of hot water, blankets and appropriate clothing) and thirdly the excessive time, migrants have to spend in the centre. The strike was suspended after the transfer of 68 people, as usual without any hint or information on the future destination of the transferred persons. However, the migrants want to resume the strike again, if there are no transfers of people within the next three days. Yesterday, the facility hosted approximately 320 “guests” (of which 117 persons had only arrived in the afternoon).

The editorial department of Borderline Sicilia