Dienstag, 17. Dezember 2013

Letter from Mussie Zerai on the affairs at Lampedusa

The Honourable Angelino Alfano, Interior Minister
The Honourable Dr Francesca Ferrandino, Prefect of Agrigento

I am writing this open letter to you in order to ask for a logical explanation, assuming that there is one, for what we have seen happening at Lampedusa shown on the TV news (TG2 Rai), http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XL7M3ykTci0 in which the guests at the reception centre are disinfected like animals in the open air, exposed to the elements, in winter, above all without any respect to their human dignity, methods which have only ever been seen in the documentary films of the concentration camps in which the Jews were subjected to similar treatment by the Nazis.
What I would like to know is if this procedure is a policy of ‘reception’ provision to which your office has given its consent, or whether it is an initiative of the management of the centre to subject people to humiliating and degrading acts such as these? I wonder what became of all those good intentions during and after the visit of Holy Father Pope Francis following the tragedy of October 3 in which many fine words regarding the respect of the PERSON and the overcoming of indifference
were spoken when within two months we witness scenes which, if offensive enough for those watching, must be unimaginably so for those undergoing such treatment. The Lampedusa centre, which should not accommodate more than 250 people, is found to be accommodating 700 people.

They should not stay there more than 48 hours and yet there are people who have been there for more than two months, some of whom are the survivors of the tragedy that occurred in October. The conditions within the “reception” centres are already well known, in which guests are forced to confront innumerable discomforts and disservices, but what we have recently learnt from Tg2 news goes beyond all limits in a country which professes to be civilized.

It is my hope that you, Mr Minister, intervene immediately to reestablish and guarantee treatment that is humane and respectful to the dignity of human beings.

Fr. Mussie Zerai
Chairman of Habeshia Agency
Cooperation for Development
E-mail: agenzia_habeshia@yahoo.it
Phon: +41(0)765328448

Translation: Denise Wesley