1. Right-wing government formed in Italy: what prospects for migrants?
The events leading to the formation of a government in Italy, that were saluted last week by the European far-right, have been followed closely in the foreign press, with concerns focusing on migrants. When the chances of a political government still looked slim, Professor Maurizio Ambrosini penned an analysis that is still valid. On Sunday, the newly appointed Interior Minister Matteo Salvini was booed at the port of Pozzallo, where many NGO vessels disembark rescued migrants, but the hard line on immigration is already obvious: Salvini said in one of his first official statements that the party is over for illegal immigrants.
— annalisa camilli (@annalisacamilli) June 3, 2018
Outgoing Interior Minister Minniti warned him, “Salvini should not reject our model” to which the new Minister promptly replied, “Minniti has done a decent job on immigration”. Former Minister (and Salvini’s party colleague) Roberto Maroni issued a more cautious remark: one shouldn’t make bold proclamations about expulsions.
News broke out on Sunday of two shipwrecks, one off the coast of Tunisia that claimed the lives of 46 people, and the other off the coast of Turkey, which left 9 dead. A young Malian farm worker, Sacko Soumayla, was shot dead in Calabria while he was collecting scraps of metal.
Andrea Menapace, director of the Italian Coalition for Civil Liberties and Rights, has voiced his concerns to Al Jazeera.
2. Hungary wants to stop NGOs helping asylum seekers
The Hungarian Parliament is set to debate draft legislation that would significantly restrict the ability of NGOs and individuals to support asylum seekers and refugees. Activists and lawyers could even face fines and jail time for advising asylum seekers on their rights. The UNCHR has called on the Hungarian government to withdraw the draft law.
3. A “hero” Malian is awarded French citizenship while a migrant camp is evacuated in Paris
Mamadou Gassama, a citizen of Mali, saw a child dangling from a balcony in Paris’ 18th arrondissement, and scaled the outside of the building to rescue him and bring him to the safety of his family. The country was so grateful that two days later Mamadou he was received by President Macron at the Elyseum. He will be granted French citizenship and enrolled in the French fire service. A few hours later, the Paris police went back to their usual business by evacuating the informal migrant settlement known as Le Millénaire – that withstood a harsh winter – and destroying the tents. The Jaurès camp received the same treatment at daybreak on Monday.
The double standard for treating migrants in France was satirized in a cartoon by Dutch illustrator Tjeerd Royaards that quickly became viral, and Libération wrote: “I dream of a country where migrants don’t have to scale a building and risk their lives rescuing a child to be treated as human beings.”
4. Libyan factions agree to hold elections, fate of migrants held in detention camps still uncertain
While the situation in war-torn Libya is still unstable, Italy and several European institutions have announced that an agreement has been reached by the rival militias to hold elections in December. According to many observers, the election is premature and the agreement very fragile and it is still too early to predict what it will mean for the migrants who are being held in detention camps. The statement by the four key leaders is endorsed, but not signed by Fayez al-Sarraj, Khalifa Haftar, Aguila Saleh and Khaled al-Mishri.
5. Immigrant children are going missing in the USA
Two disturbing stories about immigrant children have been getting attention in recent days. The first is that a federal official acknowledged during recent Senate testimony that the government no longer knew where 1,475 undocumented immigrant children were located – who were supposed to be living with an adult sponsor, but might have fallen prey to criminal networks. The other is that the Trump administration has begun prosecuting adult migrants for illegally crossing into the US, and separating children from their parents at the Mexican border. And as David Leonhardt wrote in the New York Times, the two stories are linked, and even more alarming than they seem.
6. Record number of citizenships granted in Italy in 2017
According to ISTAT data, 224,000 people were granted Italian citizenship in 2017, the ISMU Foundation reported on June 2, Italy’s Republic Day, pointing out that it is a double record: not only is it the country’s highest number ever, but Italy is also first the top EU granter of new citizenship. Nearly a third of the new citizens is less than 15 years old. The acquisition of citizenship is the culmination of a difficult process of integration, and people from Morocco, Albania and Romania made up the highest numbers.
7. How to bridge the gaps in political participation of refugees
What can be done to enhance the participation of refugees and asylum seekers in the political life of their host countries and their countries of origin? The report “Political Participation of Refugees: Bridging the Gaps”, released by the International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance, explores the possible answers to this question, drawing on in-depth interviews with refugees and key informants, and provides unique insights into the challenges and opportunities related to refugees’ political participation.
8. No pushback without consent of application country, the Court of Justice of the EU ruled on Thursday
Asylum seekers travelling across Europe can’t be sent back to the country where they applied for international protection. The Court of Justice of the European Union ruled out pushbacks without the consent of the application country.
The ruling is expected to have an immediate impact on the thousands of asylum seekers who are trying to reach EU countries via Italy, only to be sent back to our country. At the same time, as Fulvio Vassallo Paleologo warned on the ADIF website, the ruling will also apply to the mass deportations announced by the newly appointed Interior Minister Salvini.
9. Another innocent persecuted as a people smuggler
Mahmoud is from Syria and he arrived in Italy on May 7 2016, along with 950 other migrants who were rescued in international waters by a ship with the Triton project. After being mistaken for a people smuggler and unjustly incarcerated for a year and a half, he was finally released last November: there is no case against him.
His story reminds that of Medhanie Tesfamarian Behre – who was wrongly accused of being responsible for the October 3 shipwreck – and casts more than a reasonable doubt on the actions of the 1,500 alleged people smugglers who have been arrested since 2013.
10. Hate hurts
Cinzia D’Ambrosi was in Athens in the midst of the 2015 migrant crisis. After meeting the many migrants in the Greek capital, she created a photo project called “Hate Hurts”, to investigate the violence generated by the growing hostility towards foreigners in Europe.
This violence is not only verbal, as shown by the extremists group Generation identity, who are preparing to “fight the scum” through gym sessions in Rome.
Foto di copertina di Marina Petrillo