Italy: Justice of the peace annuls expulsion for Rosarno migrant

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On 11 June 2010 in Bari, justice of the peace Rita Calvi annulled the expulsion order issued by the prefect (government representative in charge of security) of Bari on 10 January 2010 regarding a Ghanaian migrant who worked as a seasonal citrus fruit picker and was among those evacuated by authorities from Rosarno in Calabria after the disturbances between locals and African workers that occurred in early January 2010 and led to the wholesale removal of the latter, whose lives were at risk.

The justice of the peace noted that the expulsion order "was issued following a police operation through which the expulsion of numerous foreign citizens who lived and worked in Rosarno was carried out", upholding the complaint that the measure violated article 4 of the 4th Protocol to the European Convention on Human Rights, which forbids the collective expulsion of foreigners. She deemed that the Ghanaian, who had entered Italy in March 2008 via Lampedusa, was made to live and work in inhumane situation and conditions, suffering harrassment by his employees, which could lead to article 18 of legislative decree 286/98 on immigration that allows the issuing of a special residence permit for humanitarian reasons and protection becoming applicable in view of the verified situations of violence and exploitation to which he was subjected. Moreover, the expulsion order was provided in Italian and French, two languages that the man did not understand.

On the ASGI (Associazione di Studi Giuridici sull'Immigrazione) website, lawyers Dario Bellucci and Iside Gjergji explained the reasons leading the man's case to be interpreted as involving a collective expulsion, namely a number of common features:

- time, as the expulsion order was issued at the same time as those of several other foreigners picked up and evacuated from Rosarno by the security forces;
- place, as it was issued alongside others, all of which concerned workers employed in Rosarno after the security forces' intervention;
- action, as all the expulsions were part of the same operation by the security forces;
- reason, as the appellant's expulsion was for the same reasons, expressed succintly, as the others, namely illegal entry and residence.

Rosarno: annullata un'altra espulsione a carico di un cittadino straniero, 18.6.2010, Dario Bellucci and Iside Gjergji,
Ordinance no. 945 of 11 June 2010 of the Bari justice of the peace (pdf)

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