Dienstag, 8. Oktober 2013

Reception conditions in Trapani? From one gym to another.

They have been in Italy for over a month and all that they have seen are the four walls of the gyms where they have been held. This is the cruel fate of the 44 migrants who have been since 28 August moved from one gym to another in the city of Trapani. Transferred each time for no clear reason but to exasperate the migrants, adversely affecting their already weakened physical and mental state.

A first transfer was needed to free-up the gym "Buscaino" near the pier, but the migrants were then moved to another gym (in the district of "Cappuccinelle").
A second transfer was made by the prefecture with the aim of placing all those migrants currently held in Trapani in as few centres/gyms as possible, also because 143 migrants rescued at sea by a merchant ship 30 September were to be accommodated in the city as well. Of these, about 40 migrants were transferred to a centre in Castelvetrano, families were taken to the Salinagrande CARA, and the other 51 were moved to another gym in via Verdinois, Trapani.
Under the competences of the Social Services of the City, the gym, by the waterfront of Dante Alighieri, currently holds 70 migrants: 19 of the group that arrived 28 August, and 51 of those who landed 30 September. The supervision is assigned to personnel from the Police, the Carabinieri and the Guardia di Finanza, as well as voluntary associations in Trapani. They complain of the difficulties in being able to perform their "mission" given the lack of blankets, shoes and above all, the psychological and medical support needed, and as so it is the police and volunteers who buy medicines, shoes and clothes for the migrants. The most serious deficiency is that of health care since there is no appointed doctor on site. Last week the migrants made a hungerstrike.
The situation is completely out of control and the fact that the prefecture has not assigned to any organisation responsibility for the management of this emergency has meant that "abandoned" volunteers (who lament the absence of Caritas) will no longer be able to carry such a heavy burden. As a consequence, the small contributions volunteers have made thus far is going to be missed, unless the prefecture changes its strategy in the next hours.
And meanwhile in Salinagrande there are nearly 400 migrants present. There are mattresses everywhere, also in the gym of course!

Alberto Biondo
Borderline Sicily Onlus

Translation by Sally Jane Hole