Samstag, 23. August 2014

Vendicari, Augusta, Pozzallo: A new series of arrivals and landings

A continuous series of arrivals has determined the hours between the night of the 21st and the morning of August 22. According to the Deputy Commissioner Carlo Parini’s statement  which he has made ​​on behalf of the interdepartmental troop group for illegal immigration to the Prosecution of Syracuse, a blue sailing ship of about 10 meters in length stranded in the nature reserve of the small island Vendicari on Thursday night at 10 o’clock in the evening. Oddly enough, it is said that the ship left from Turkey. It was not intercepted by the ships of the "Mare Nostrum" operation as they were already busy with other utility operations.
In this context, it is remembered that this is already the second ship which has left from the Turkish coast within a short time. On board of the sailing ship which is currently under supervision in Marzamemi , were 88 people of mainly Syrian and Afghan nationality. They are families and among them also some pregnant women. The municipality Pachino also lent a hand and brought the refugees to the center "Le Zagare" of Città Giardino, a district of Melilli, at around 4 am. A few days ago, about a hundred Syrians who have landed in Augusta, were already taken there. The Commissioner has stressed that there were no unaccompanied minors among them and that their health condition was all in all good.

Yesterday morning, however, the ship Dattilo of the Coast Guard has brought about 588 migrants, recovered in four different rescue operations, to the port of Augusta. The Dattilo got support from a merchant ship which was travelling between the Libyan and Greek coast. The ships (of the refugees) followed the route of Egypt. All day yesterday, there were refugees from Syria, Egypt, the Middle East and sub-Saharan Africa in the harbour to finish the identification procedure.

Also, the arrival of Palestinian refugees seems to rise considering the small but ever increasing number of citizens from Gaza among the new arrivals. Days ago we were able to talk with a migrant who was waiting in the courtyard of the CSPA of Pozzallo. He told us about his escape from Gaza. He asked for news about the fighting and stresses how the recent bombings have driven him from his country. His goal is to flee to Sweden or the UK but possibly also to Switzerland because he heard nothing good about Italy. Therefore, he has eluded the identification procedures. In Catania, the police had told him that he was free to flee.

Four alleged Egyptian smugglers have been identified (one for one ship and three for another) among the refugees in Augusta. They are being questioned.
The rescued migrants, of course, among them unaccompanied minors, are distributed to the different centres according to possibility. However, they do not know yet where they are being brought exactly.

Meanwhile, on the some morning of 22nd August 215 migrants, mainly families of Syrian nationality, arrive at the port of Pozzallo; among them 39 women and 79 minors. They were immediately taken to the CSPA (Centro di Soccorso e prima Accoglienza: Zentrum zur Ersten Hilfe und Erstaufnahme) in the harbour to perform the procedure of identification and possible relocation. As we have heard from some medical assistants who came hastily out of the centre, there is also a group of Egyptian refugees who have been immediately identified by the police as possible traffickers.

Meanwhile, more arrivals are expected in Catania this morning.

Beatrice Gornati and Lucia Borghi
Borderline Sicilia Onlus

Aus dem Deutschen von Aylin Satmaz