Tuesday, December 17, 2013


I am very sorry to have to report tonight that migrants in the "welcome" or "reception" or "detention" - depending on how you perceive it - centre on Lampedusa appear to be suffering inhumane treatment there: Mobile phone footage shot by a Syrian detainee on 13th December shows nude, cold migrants queueing in the courtyard in order to undergo a disinfestation treatment for scabies.

The migrants say that they caught scabies in the detention centre and that they are made to undergo the disinfestation treatment every week. Corriere della Sera is reporting that some survivors of the 3rd October tragedy were among the migrants subjected to the procedure.

The pictures, shown on Tg2 [Italy's Rai 2 news] last night, have caused a national outcry: President of the Chamber of Deputies Laura Boldrini has said that the images are unworthy of a civilised country and Interior Minister and Deputy Prime Minister Angelino Alfano has vowed to find out who is responsible for the outrage. Giusy Nicolini, the Mayor of Lampedusa, is said to have been appalled by the images, which she has likened to those taken in concentration camps, and has said that the way in which migrants are treated once they reach Italy must change. "This is not what we expect barely two months after all the promises made following the October tragedy", she added.  The Archbissop of Agrigento, monsignor Francesco Montenegro, who is also president of the Commission for Migration of the Conferenza Episcopale Italiana, has said that no emergency situation can justify treatment which ignores human dignity and rights.

The Comitato 3 ottobre agrees with Laura Boldrini and is asking for clarification of the procedures used in migrant detention centres. Amnesty International and Cgil, Italy and Europe's largest trade union, are also asking for urgent clarification. I would like to point out that Laura Boldrini had the humility to thank Tg2 for bringing the situation to the nation's attention. In our criticism of Italy over this matter, we should remember that there are many parliaments in the world which would have lashed out at the media.


Betty said...

Thank goodness this all came to light and now something will be done. Those poor people have suffered enough.

Welshcakes Limoncello said...

I agree totally, Betty.


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