The situation in the CIE – a report on the seminar in Altamura

Due to its experience with the detention centers in Milo and Caltanissetta (Sicily), Borderline Sicilia ONLUS participated in a seminar on the situation of foreigners and deportation centers in Altamura in the region Apulia in Italy. Here is the report of the co-ordinator of the project.

Between 11th and 12th May a seminar on immigration and deportation centers in Italy took place in Cagnazzi high-school in Altamura. The event has been realized by borderline-europe in co-operation with their Italian partner associate Borderline Sicilia ONLUS. The seminar targeted to raise awareness of civil society and called for reflection on the meaning and consequences of our immigration and asylum policies. This goal was achieved: Participants and speakers learned from each other and a lively and critical debate was conducted which included the majority of those present and emphasized why deportation centers are unconstitutional and unacceptable institutions on Italian ground. As the president Biagio Clemente of the high-school discussed, it is about facts that are kept in the dark and knowingly hidden from the majority of the population. The high-school students expressed the wish to campaign for a possibility to fight against these new Italian camps. A project introduced by lawyer Luigi Paccione from Bari was referred to as a possible way to participate in the campaign “Class action procedimentale”. Following the seminar, some participants approached the association Carthage in Altamura founded by Angela Siciliano and Bechir Missou to push and to realize some initiatives for immigration in the region. The students, the head of school and the teacher Piero Castoro (Co-organizer of the event) thanked that the high-school has been selected as a venue for the seminar. The event was a huge success and enjoyed a large number of visitors within these two days. A lot of students from the high-school, citizens of Altamura and the surrounding area, immigrants and children of immigrants born in Italy took part.

Elettra Griesi co-ordinator of the transnational EACEA project for detention pending deportation and directive on return (see

translation from the italian language: Aylin Satmaz