There’s Still No Plan to Deal With Migrants in the Mediterranean – Cecilia Butini

lunedì, novembre 11, 2019
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Volentieri riprendiamo (da The Nation) questo pezzo molto informativo su una situazione che tutti dovremmo meglio conoscere. E’ a firma di Cecilia Butini, che ha studiato Giornalismo a Columbia University, dopo la laurea Magistrale in Filosofia presso l’Università Vita-Salute San Raffaele.

 

There’s Still No Plan to Deal With Migrants in the Mediterranean

The reign of Italy’s hard-line anti-immigrant interior minister has ended. Now it’s time to transform policies that were entrenched before he even got there. 

On the night of July 7, 2019, Alessandra Sciurba of the humanitarian rescue organization Mediterranea was aboard a sailboat in Libyan territorial waters. The boat wasn’t meant to save people at sea; she and the crew were just supporting another ship from the German NGO Sea Eye. But suddenly an Alarm Phone alert notified them of a nearby boat in distress, so the crew sailed toward a rapidly deflating dinghy with 59 migrants aboard.

“We got there and found men, women, children, even a 5-month-old baby. Some of them had signs of torture, signs of electrocution with wires. They were all sitting there in this dinghy that didn’t have a hull anymore, it was just a few wooden planks on a black tarp,” recalled Sciurba, who is a researcher in law and human rights at the University of Palermo and has volunteered with Mediterranea since its start in 2018.

As the crew started transferring people from the dinghy to the boat, the Libyan Coast Guard arrived; some of the rescued migrants remarked that they would have rather been thrown into the sea than handed over to the Libyan authorities, says Sciurba. The Libyan Guard ultimately declined to intervene, leaving them at sea with a boat that was too small to carry 59 migrants plus an 11-person crew, had no food, and whose two toilets had broken immediately.

“At that point the EU abandoned us for 50 hours,” she told The Nation. “All we got from them was a written order not to dock in Lampedusa [an island off the coast of Sicily], which was handed over to us from an Italian police patrol boat while we were still outside of Italian territorial waters.”

The Mediterranea crew eventually declared an emergency and the coordination center of the Italian Coast Guard allowed the boat to dock on the island, which sits only a few nautical miles from the borders of the Libyan search-and-rescue area. As soon as everyone disembarked, the boat was sequestered by Italian authorities and the migrants were transferred to mainland reception centers to begin the seemingly interminable process of claiming asylum.

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