Mittwoch, 12. August 2015

So much hypocrisy and confusion, only one certainty: death - Trapani

Our trip continues to Trapani, where confusion and hypocrisy are not less than elsewhere. The city’s prefect repeats that the optimal system would be that of having small centres with few presences, although after the closure of the Cara* in Salinagrande - which took place more than two months ago - he determined to let the management of the Cas, with a capacity of around 200 beds, to the institution which in Trapani monopolises the business of first reception: the cooperative Badiagrande (with connections in Palermo in association like „Sviluppo Solidale“ or „Opera Don Calabria“).

Currently Badiagrande manages: the new Cas created at the ex-hotel Sant’Andrea in Valderice, several Sprar** projects, while recently it has been appointed also for the management of the new hotspot in Milo (which will first spring into action only after 15 people who are still held by the Cie*** will be transferred) with a capacity of 400 beds.
The only certainty in this case too is the physical and psychological death, as some drawings made by migrants arrested in Milo and exposed in the reception hall of the Cie (soon to become an hot spot) show.

Going back to the numbers as wished by the prefect, surely this will also be an exception to the rules due to the emergency, clearly, but in the meantime we ask that somebody explains to us the operative terms of the hotspot, since the migrants present in the province await the summons of a territorial commission since 15-18 months.

The system of the territorial commission resulted disastrous, especially after the (only formal) increase of the number of commissions in Sicily through the creation of detached sections. The government has not been listening to the local actors and to the proposals coming from those who had also been working in this area, devoting (instead) more than 2 mio. euros. The results? One the one hand the audition time in front of commission stay long, but in compensation deportations of our friends are being made easier on order to make space for the new arrivals. The disruptions created by this disastrous policy are several: just to name one in Agrigento (a section of the commission based in Trapani) the commission works only 2 days a week, although there are 1400 dossiers to be processed. Its president performs at the same time five more rather important institutional roles, the prefecture denounces a shortage of workforce, the representatives of the police headquarters (questura) and of the city hall have given a limited availability for the weekly meetings and finally, the members of the UNHCR are new and with limited experience.

The territorial commission in Trapani has to process a lot of dossiers too: 1800 of asylum seekers and more than 1000 open controversies, in this case too with representatives of the UNHCR at their first experience, members from the questura and and the city hall who are absent because of concurrent institutional meetings. To these discomforts the questura of Trapani makes it more difficult by not arranging the notification of the summons for the interested parts because of a shortage in personnel. This problem is bypassed by the members of the commission who act and contact directly the centres to tell them the days of the hearing! Yes, since the daily hearings should be 32 as indicated by the ministry, thus giving away the composure of listening, of a precise recollection of the personal history of applicants, of the guarantees provided by the law, hence all those things necessary to oversee the procedure for the recognition of the international protection. Like that the confusion increases vis-à-via a system foreseeing the increase of the number of commissions on one side (which do not function or function extremely slow because of organisational problems, and the dizzying increase of the persons to examine on a daily base on the other, to the detriment of the serenity of the judgement on the dossier, as required by the asylum procedures, which would deserve attention and conscientious dedication, since the life and the future of the applicant for international protection are imperilled!
A lot of confusion where the usual suspects are in their element, a lot of hypocrisy where politicians play with people’s lives and set rules only to their own convenience, after the migrants are dying every day and this is a certainty, the only certainty!

Alberto Biondo 
Borderline Sicilia Onlus

*Cara: Reception Centre for Asylum Seekers
**Sprar: Protection System for asylum and refugee applicants
***Cie: Center for Identification and Deportation

Translation by Marco Baldan