1. On Idy Diene, murdered in Florence
The first news that broke out the morning after the election in Italy was the burning of the door of a mosque in Padua, followed, hours later, but the murder of Idy Diene in Florence. Have we become, as Annalisa Camilli wrote, “a country where black people are murdered in the streets”? Idy was 54 years old, came from Senegal and lived in the province of Pisa. He had been living in Italy for 17 years. He was shot and killed on March 5 on a bridge in Florence by a 65-year-old Italian man, Roberto Pirrone. The Senegalese community took to the streets to protest the murder of a fellow countryman, something that had happened before in Florence. A few flower pots were smashed during the demonstration, prompting Mayor Dario Nardella to go on record saying: “violent protests are unacceptable”. The flower pots were the subject of Giovanni De Mauro’s op-ed in Internazionale. A report by the Washington Post describes an African community shocked by another killing and the rising anti-immigrant sentiment. On Saturday afternoon, the streets of Florence were filled by thousands of people in memory of Idy Diene.
2. The results of the Italian election and the reactions from the African community
The foreign press has been analysing the outcome of the general election in Italy. According to the Guardian, other EU countries won’t imitate Brexit but the forces that created it – by leveraging on economic insecurity, the disconnection of citizens from ruling elites, and fear of immigration – are pan-European. The Intercept comments on the landslide win in Lombardy for the League candidate Attilio Fontana, who had promised to defend “the white race”. The op-ed in the New Yorker focusses on the collapse of the centre, caused by “recession, austerity and immigration”. The New York Times also dedicated this week’s main op-ed to Italy. The Guardian also covered the strange election of Toni Iwobi, Italy’s first black senator, for the League, and the fears of African immigrants who are living in or passing through Italy. Meanwhile, a delegation of attorneys, researchers and cultural mediators from the Italian Coalition for Civil Liberties and Rights, the Association for Juridical Studies on Immigration and IndieWatch visited the hotspot in Lampedusa and reported on the harsh living conditions and systematic violations of human rights.
3. The agreement between Italy and Libya: what’s happening now?
The future of the Italian deal with Libya to stem the flow of migrants is very uncertain, even with the new Italian secret service bosses appointed by outgoing PM Gentiloni. Meanwhile, the tribes of southern Libya have withdrawn from the agreement, and the situation on the ground is still very unstable, as the murder of human rights activist Intissal al Hassaeri has shown, while the EU Emergency Trust Fund for Africa is still financing evacuation programmes for thousands of detainees in Libyan camps. Meanwhile, the German Parliament has warned about violations of the principle of non-refoulement, enshrined in the Geneva Convention, at the hands of the Libyan Coast Guard.
4. International Women’s Day and migrant women
Women are an extraordinarily important component of migrant flows, as the IOM explains in this video on data on the migration of women. UN Refugee chief Filippo Grandi gave this statement to mark International Women’s Day. Women also account for a large part of the new slaves and victims of trafficking worldwide. On March 8, we also published this report by Claudia Torrisi from the International Conference on Human Trafficking at Palazzo Montecitorio in Rome on January 29-30.
5. Migrants and personal data: controversial measures in an imbalance of power
As we told you last week, the Home Office was criticised for seeking confidential non-clinical data from NHS patients, but now the government plans to deny immigrants the right to access data held on them by the Home Office. Meanwhile, the controversial practice of gathering biometric data to provide displaced people and refugees with ID cards (data that the UNHCR is already collecting, on the Rohingya in Bangladesh) is becoming a reality in Uganda.
6. Dozens of Somalis abused in the US
Shackled with chains on their wrists, waists, and legs for more than 40 hours; forced to urinate in bottles or on themselves; beaten and threatened. Dozens of deportees on a chartered flight to Somalia told of abuse on the flight at the hands of Immigration and Customs Enforcement personnel.
7. Some refugees are returning to Syria: why?
What brings some Syrians to go back to their country, despite the still raging conflict and the dangers that they had fled? Read about it in Refugees Deeply.
8. UK and France, what is happening to migrants?
Tensions are rising between the British government and the migrants on a hunger strike at the Yarl’s Wood immigration removal centre, while Jean-Marc Puissesseau, the boss of the port of Calais, has warned the governments of UK and France that mandatory customs and sanitary checks could lead to tailbacks and food shortages.
9. “Boats and camps”: we need a new representation of migration
Refugees Deeply explored why images of refugees and migrants are dominated by “boats and camps”, and how to shift prevalent perceptions.
10. More and more Venezuelans are seeking refuge in Colombia
What started as sporadic trips across the border by hundreds of thousands of Venezuelans looking for food and medicines, have become a full-on emigration to Colombia, with a 62 percent increase in the number of immigrants recorded in the second half of 2017.
Foto di copertina via Luca Perino (CC BY-NC 2.0)