Sonntag, 1. Januar 2017

Do Not Lose Hope and the Strength to Always Be There

2016 has ended, and rereading some of the reports from the year just passed, the title of the last report from 2015 stands out: “Thankfully, 2015 Is Over”.
We cannot reprise the title while just changing the days, because 2016 has been even more deadly, and the dynamics still more repetitive, and have even become more violent than 2015. The numbers of daily massacres are terrifying, the official data speaking of more than 5,000 dead. People have never been killed in sea like this year, and these numbers do not do justice to all those who have died before and after the crossing.

Samstag, 24. Dezember 2016

You Also Put Rubbish In Black Bags

On Friday 16th December we were at the port of Palermo to welcome the 388 migrants who have beaten death and arrived on board the Spanish military vessel Navarra. Along with those rescued, there was also one body. Up until the moment of arrival at Palermo, the staff at the port ready to assist in the landing operation had still not been notified of the corpse. It is entirely likely that this person – brought to dry land in a black bag, and welcomed with the blessing of the ever-present Comboni Lay Mission – died after being rescued at sea, on their way to Palermo. The person suffered diabetes and, after the psycho-physical stress and inhumane conditions, did not manage to win out against the odds, death instead winning once again, with the assistance of European policies.

Donnerstag, 22. Dezember 2016

Messina: A Mega Tent-City for Migrants in the Old 'Gasparro' Barracks. The €1,932,000 Contract Already Announced in the Official Gazette. And that's not all...

In a few months' time the former barracks of 'Gasparro' in Messina (in the urban area of Bisconte) will be transformed into one of the largest centres in Italy for the forced “welcoming” of those migrants awaiting the authorities' decision on whether they will be eventually relocated to other structures for asylum seekers in Europe or – as will be the case for the vast majority of them – to be deported by military force to their countries of origin. Dozens of tents and containers will be installed next to the buildings of the 'Gasparro' (where around 200 young migrants have already been stuck for three years) allowing for the tripling or even quadrupling of the number of residents, and – just a short walk from the town centre – replicating the infamous failure of the “Mineo” model of reception.

[photo: Enrico di Giacomo]

Mittwoch, 21. Dezember 2016

Refugees at a Distance: New Victims Amid the Complete Silence of Fortress Europe

“Europe talks about migrants as refugees only when they're at a distance, still in the countries of transit or where a war is unfolding. When we manage to cross the borders, we immediately become simply numbers, talked about as nothing but a problem.” 'L'. is from Senegal, and just a little over 20 years old, the last five of those years spent in a journey to reach Fortress Europe, where he arrived three years ago. He tries to stay calm and composed while speaking, even if the resulting tone makes his anger and frustration clear enough, and the pain which he tries to swallow down every day.

Mittwoch, 14. Dezember 2016

Migrant Sicily Newsletter, November 2016

  • Drawn out landing operations, hurried rejections and packed centres: a journey into the crisis of the Sicilian reception system
  • A future denied to those who survive the sea, between the limbo of the CAS and the hell of the fields
  • Overcrowding, isolation and exclusion. Migrant reception as business, even at the expense of minors
  • Pozzallo: the Hotspot approach and the violation of human rights
  • News: Noëmi Landolt tells WOZ about the Libyan Coast Guard attack on the Sea-Watch 2
  • Info and contacts

Freitag, 9. Dezember 2016

EU Re-Assesses Italy's Activity in the Hotspots. Activists: “Fingerprinting? A Widespread Failure”.

The European Commission has closed the infringement case against Italy and Greece relating to accusations of deficiencies in migrant identification centres. At the same time, associations have noted the limited results of the relocation program. “The norm at the moment is to imprison asylum seekers”, says Paola Ottaviano from Borderline Sicilia.

Dienstag, 6. Dezember 2016

Forced Stopover: The Time That Doesn't Pass in Agrigento

We spent a day with the migrants in the Villaggio Mosè in Agrigento, meeting both the managers and residents. The dynamics and practices will be familiar given that the system has generalised them, and in many cases creates conditions which are not suitable for living a dignified life. Our visit began with the “La mano di Francesco” Extraordinary Reception Centre (CAS*) on Viale Cannatello, the road which leads from Villaggio Mosè down to the beach. Thus, aside from a few shops and a supermarket, there is nothing in the area.