Dienstag, 27. September 2011

“Floating CIE (Immigration Detention Centre)- inquest to be opened"

Video by Enrico Montalbano

The Public Prosecutor's Office of Palermo has opened an inquest into the Immigration Detention Centre Ships, that is the 2 ships still docked in the port of Palermo with about 300 Tunisians on board illegally detained for 2 weeks. The decision by the assigned prosecutor Leonardo Agueci, who coordinates the inquest, has come after the presentation of the submission presented this morning by certain exponents of the Palermo's AntiRacism movement. Among the subscribers of the statement are Professor Fulvio Vassallo Paleologo (Jurist and member of ASGI) Judith Gleitze (from Borderline Sicilia, who has been constantly monitoring the situation in Lampedusa during these months) together with Pietro Milazzo (Cgil Sicily) and Anna Bucca (Arci). 

The petition highlights that the Tunisians imprisoned on the ship in the port of Palermo are illegally deprived of personal freedom, without the right of defence and without the validation of a judge. It requests clarification about the six minors and pregnant woman on board, as denounced yesterday afternoon by the Politician of the PD  Alessandra Siragusa and the regional deputy of the democratic party Pino Apprendi, after the visit on board the prison boats as part of the demonstration of the anti-racist movements at the port of Palermo . Here is a report from the brief petition, asking for an explanation for the beatings, which happened on Lampedusa against a Canadian activist and a Tunisian prisoner still in a coma at the hospital of Palermo. 

from the petition addressed to Public Prosecutors Office of the Republic of Palermo about the violations committed against the Tunisians imprisoned on the prison ships:
“It is asked that the Public Prosecutor verifies the facts and ascertains if any of the alleged criminal offences occurred; particularly if the foreign citizens withheld on board the three boats; AUDACIA, MOBY FANTASY and MOBY VINCENT have been or are, in a condition of illicit limitation of personal freedom that is if there are the prerequisites for the hypothesis of the crime of duress; If the administrative measures have been adopted and notified against them, justifying such deprivation of personal freedom by the police authorities and if such restrictive measures have been subjected promptly to judicial review according to the current national and European legislation in force; If there is the alleged crime ex art. 476 from the Penal Code, material falsity, committed by a public official in public deeds; If there are alleged crimes relating to the conduct in contrast with the execution of the right of defence clearly limited, if not completely denied; If there are alleged crimes for the illegal detention of minors of whom were not certain to be accompanied; If there are alleged crimes for the beatings inflicted upon the foreign citizen Naji Hsen still in care at the hospital of Palermo and humanitarian worker Alexander Georges hit by someone on the island of Lampedusa, the following days after the fire at the Centre Contrada Imbriacola.  (On the Facebook page of the Jurist Vassallo Paleologo you can download the complete petition and adapt it to similar cases of illegal detention in other parts of Italy).

Meanwhile, this morning the Minister of the Interior, Roberto Maroni, intervened in a preliminary hearing at the Parliament Commission, to announce that Lampedusa has been declaredan unsafe port. This means that until a change of orders, the emergency rescues at sea will be docking at other ports, such as those at Porto Empedocle in the Province of Agrigento, which is what happened the other week after the beatings. Maroni has also given the details of the new agreement with Tunisia, which foresees 10 flights a week with 50 passengers on each one, in comparison to the two weekly flights with 30 passengers each, which was the agreement set forth in April. However, Tunisia have voted for their constitutional assembly and it remains to be seen if the new leader confirms the agreement. What is sure is that the ferry company Moby have informed us that the Minister of the Interior has paid for the rental of the ships, which today are being used as Immigration Detention Centres (CIEs), until the 31st of December.
Given that in the CIEs there are so many escapes or uprisings, on a scale never before seen, we can’t exclude that Palermo could only be an experiment which will soon be repeated. This is also why it's important for the Judiciary to give its say on the matter.