Bristol No Borders Writes: “This report highlights how border security continues to trump any Human Rights in EU policy decisions. Making their criticism of other “less liberal” States Human Rights’ records as hollow as a promise by Nick Clegg.
Extract from Report:
“The Italian government and the EU are attempting to urgently re-establish readmission agreements with new regimes in Egypt, Tunisia and Libya with scant regard for the wellbeing of refugees and asylum seekers. A ‘state of emergency’ has been declared in Italy which has allowed the government to derogate from certain laws and fast-track the (asylum) application process.
The Italian government and the EU are attempting to urgently re-establish readmission agreements with new regimes in Egypt, Tunisia and Libya with scant regard for the wellbeing of refugees and asylum seekers. A ‘state of emergency’ has been declared in Italy which has allowed the government to derogate from certain laws and fast-track the application process.
Italy had good diplomatic relations with the three regimes prior to the crisis, signing readmission agreements and treaties that resulted in fast-track returns of migrants. These were widely condemned for enabling collective refoulements and stripping their nationals, or people who had travelled to Italy through these countries, of the chance to apply for asylum.
The Italian government responded to the sudden arrival of migrants by calling a “state of
emergency.” They introduced a series of measures to organise reception, detention and the issuing of temporary residence permits for humanitarian protection and attempts to resurrect readmission agreements with regimes that were in gestation or any viable counterparts in the north African countries.
The backdrop to these initiatives was continuing deaths of migrants at sea and increasing
tension at Italy’s formal detention facilities, reception centres for asylum seekers (CARAs) and identification and expulsion centres (CIEs). Tension was also high at the “temporary identification and expulsion centres” (CIETs) set up to deal with the new arrivals. The practice of funnelling arrivals through the small island of Lampedusa lent a visual
aid to claims that a “biblical exodus” and “catastrophic influx” were underway, which reached a climax when interior minister Roberto Maroni warned of an “invasion by one and a half million refugees in Italy.” Available figures show that Italy received only a fraction of the people who went to Tunisia or Egypt when they fled Libya.
This did not stop the Italian government and EU Commission officials from exerting pressure on regimes that were in gestation for cooperation to counter “illegal” immigration, effectively subordinating their support to the implementation of repatriation agreements and tight immigration regulations involving control and punishment under penal law for attempted crossings.”