1. No sea rescue operations from Libya (while ships donated by Italy are used in the war)
Hundreds of thousands of refugees could flee the fighting caused by Khalifa Haftar’s attempt to seize the Libyan capital, Tripoli, the prime minister of the country’s UN-recognised government has warned; there might be terrorist among them.
Va sottolineato ancora: NON è possibile prevedere il numero di persone che potrebbe partire dalla #Libia
La decisione di partire, e la possibilità di poterlo fare,dipendono da dinamiche mutevoli e non quantificabili
Ora la preoccupazione è per la sicurezza di chi sta nel paese https://t.co/dJQBhhLtex
— Flavio Di Giacomo (@fladig) April 23, 2019
Terrorism was also mentioned in a new memo by Italian interior minister Salvini – which has drawn criticism from the government ad accusations of interference from the defence ministry – based largely on the actions that the Mare Jonio might take.
The response from Mediterranea Saving Humans came immediately: “The memo appears to be written as if the government were living in a parallel world. No mention to the war that is ravaging Libya and the attendant international obligations or to the thousands of people who have been tortured in the country over the last few years, nor those who have drowned in the Central Mediterranean (an ever increasing number, proportionally: 2,100 in 2018 alone). Perhaps the ministries should talk among them: the Italian minister of defence has just said ‘With the war, we will have refugees, not migrants, and refugees must be welcomed’.”
Meanwhile, it is becoming increasingly clear how Libya is not able to guarantee rescue operations in its waters. There have been only 12 operations in 2019, but there has been no patrolling since April 10 and 257 migrants have died in the last 4 months.
And some have already admitted: “Ships donated by Italy are being used in the war”.
2. Are the ports closed?
There is no formal act, no legal ruling, no measure from the Council of ministers or the government that orders the closing of Italian ports. However, Salvini has been claiming for months that “the Italian ports were and still are closed”.
As even the interior ministry denied repeated assertions by Salvini (Nello Scavo wrote about it in Avvenire), Luigi Manconi wrote in the Huffington Post how the ports rare “hermetically closed to only one group: people fleeing war and misery, from humanitarian and climate disasters”.
3. Migrants rescued in the Channel
Dozens of people have been rescued by Home Office and Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) vessels while trying to cross the Channel in small boats. Three boats, carrying 36 men, women and children, were intercepted in separate operations on Monday, according to the Home Office. The people rescued gave their nationalities as Iranian and Iraqi.
“Anyone crossing the Channel in a small boat is taking a huge risk with their life and the lives of their children”, said a Home Office spokesman on Monday.
As Emanuela Barbiroglio wrote in her February report among the migrants stranded at Calais, crossing the Channel is still the only chance for many who cannot reach the UK.
4. Football Welcomes: British clubs to take part in weekend for refugees
What do Celtic, Liverpool, Manchester United and Chelsea have in common? They are some of the clubs in Britain that will take part in “Football Welcomes”, an Amnesty International initiative to celebrate the contribution refugees make to the game.
“It’s clear that football is a powerful force for good, bringing people together and providing a sense of belonging, and we are delighted that more clubs than ever are taking part in Football Welcomes this year”, Amnesty’s Naomi Westland said to the Guardian. “Across the country football clubs are doing great work in their communities to show there is more that unites us than divides us. Football clubs are at the heart of their communities and can play an important role in creating respect and friendship across cultures.”
5. Two brothers, 4,000 kilometers apart, two different views on migration
Aboubacar Diop has been living and working in Spain for over 10 years, but his story began somewhere else, far away.
“We left Casamance, in southern Senegal, and we sailed for 9 days to Tenerife, on August 29th 2006. I was kept in a centre for over a month with more than 200 children, then I was taken to Barcelona.” His younger brother, Khadim, stayed at home with his mother, and he dreams of a future in his village. Lola Hierro and Luis Manuel Rivas wrote in El Pais about two brothers, 4,000 kilometres apart: two destinies, two different views on migration.
6. Trump’s new restrictions on asylum seekers
The Trump administration on Tuesday took another significant step to discourage migrants from seeking asylum. Last Tuesday, Attorney General William P. Barr issued an order that could keep thousands of them in jail indefinitely while they wait for a resolution of their asylum requests, without a chance to post bail.
Immigrant rights lawyers said the order “could undermine the basic rights of people seeking safety in the United States”. “They want to send a message that you will get detained,” said Judy Rabinovitz, a deputy director of the Immigrants Rights’ Project at the American Civil Liberties Union. “We are talking about people who are fleeing for their lives, seeking safety. And our response is just lock them up.”
7. On the Venezuelan crisis
Harsh conditions, including the absence of food, electricity and hospitals with basic supplies, are driving thousands of Venezuelans to flee the country. New York Times opinion columnist Nicholas Kristof met some of them along the Colombia-Venezuela border: here are their stories.
The crisis cannot be ignored in Italy: the country is not one of the main destinations for Venezuelans, but a growing number of them is seeking asylum here. Laura Nesi reported on the situation in the country, as seen through their eyes.
8. Families of the victims from the “children’s shipwreck” received by the Pope
On June 10th, a judge in Rome will decide on the indictment of the two Italian navy officers charged with delaying the deployment of the military vessel Libra on October 11th, 2013. This article by Lorenzo Bagnoli for Open Migration is a reconstruction of that day, when 368 people, including 60 children, died in the waters off the coasts of Lampedusa.
Families of the victims travelled to Rome and were received by the Pope at the end of the general audience last Wednesday.
9. Fewer migrants, more emergency: the European paradox explained
According to Parliament committee on intolerance, xenophobia, racism and hatred, Italy is the EU country with the highest rate of misinformation on issues of immigration (we wrote about it here). Our country is no exception: over the last four years, as migrant flows to Europe shrank, the perceived migrant emergency spread to the entire continent, and immigration is one of the main issues in the run-op to the European elections. Why is that?
Sergio Colombo interviewed ISPI researcher Matteo Villa for Lettera43: a useful article to understand what the EU has done and what it will do after the elections.
10. Salvini decree: among those left out of the system in Ventimiglia
Over the last few years, Ventimiglia was the hotspot for migrants trying to cross into France. A tragic situation – dozens died in the attempt to cross the border – that had become more stable lately. Now the town is seeing more migrants stopped at the border: about 200 people, most of them with a humanitarian permit (which cannot be renewed under the new legislation), trapped in limbo after being evicted from the reception centres that housed them.
“The numbers are lower than they were a few years ago – said Christian Papini, head of counselling at Caritas – but the feelings have changed: among those who arrive, we find many more who are frustrated, feeling rejected in spite of the years they spent trying to integrate.”
The situation is the same across the country. Not long ago we told you about how, in the province of Como, Caritas Ambrosiana was taking care of those left out of the system after the new legislation pushed by the interior minister came into force.
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