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Wednesday, 28 September 2011

In Italy, prosecution opens into floating detention centres

Source: La Repubblica

Translation by Chiara Lauvergnac

The Prosecutor opened an investigation into the Palermo floating Cie, or the two ships still stationed in the port of Palermo, with about three hundred Tunisians on board, illegally detained for weeks the conditions of their detention have been contested. The decision of the prosecutor Leonardo Agueci, who coordinates the investigation, came after the presentation of a petition presented this morning by some members of the anti-racist movement in Palermo. Among the signatories of the complaint are Professor Fulvio Vassallo Paleologo (lawyer and member dell'Asgi), Judith Gleitze (Borderline Sicily, which in recent months has constantly monitored the situation in Lampedusa) and then Peter Milazzo (Sicily CGIL ) and Anna Bucca (ARCI).

The complaint indicates that the Tunisian prisoners on ships in the port of Palermo are illegally deprived of freedom, without right to legal defense and without the validation of a judge and asks the presence of six children on board and a pregnant woman is clarified, as denounced yesterday by the member of Parliament, Alessandra Siragusa of the Democratic Party and the regional member of Democrats, Pino Apprendi, after visiting the floating Cie, on the side of the demonstration at the port of Palermo by anti-racist movements. Here is an excerpt dell'esposto, asking to make clarity also in the beatings occurred in Lampedusa against a Canadian activist and an imprisoned Tunisian still in a coma at the hospital of Palermo.
"To our knowledge, no formal measures have been issued authorizing the detention of the migrants on the ships," said Fulvio Vassallo Paleologo, professor of asylum law at the University of Palermo. "In fact they are denied the right to defense and freedom of communication with the outside, as it happens in the Cie. It is demonstrated by the fact that they have confiscated their mobile phones. We ask the judiciary to verify compliance with the procedures laid down to implement the repatriation and EU rules in the  forced removal of foreigners in irregular position."
 At the moment, the investigation of the Prosecutor is against persons unknown.

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This story was corrected 29 September following comment by Prof. Bruce Leimsidor. He said:
"No one questions the right of the state to detain these people, who are most likely simply economic migrants. It is unclear if they have already been adjudicated, or if they even have requested asylum. But at any rate, the state has a prefect right, and even obligation, to detain them until their cases have been adjudicated. Their detention is certainly not illegal. Nor does the Repubblica story imply this."

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