Italy
Harassment against migrants and Roma people            
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In two press statements, Naga, an organisation that works to support the rights of
migrants, refugees and minorities, criticises the visit by soldiers and carabinieri to their centre for asylum seekers, refugees and torture victims on 17 February 2010, and the umpteenth eviction of a Roma camp in Milan, this time in Segrate on 16 February.

Press release by Centro NAGA
Days that are difficult to forget

17/02/2010

"Since 2001, Naga has opened an assistance and socialisation centre for asylum seekers, refugees and victims of torture in via Grigna in Milan. Today, for the first time after nearly ten years' activity, our volunteers found an army van with two soldiers and a carabiniere in front of the centre at opening time.

The members of the law enforcement agencies asked all the foreign citizens who were present to show them their residence permits and, as they were asylum seekers and refugees, they all had them. Moreover, the reasons for the "visit" were not explained in any way.

"Naga expresses extreme concern over what happened: an unmotivated and invasive control of a group that is engaged in the safeguard and defence of the rights of a category that is particularly vulnerable", the Naga president Pietro Massarotto declared, "We criticise a customary practice and policy that continuously criminalises immigration and, for at least a decade, has managed to unite Italian citizens around an abstract and supposed idea of national identity".

"Yesterday, we witnessed the obscene persecution of the Roma citizens who were evicted from Segrate [see below] and then chased wherever they sought refuge. Today, the "visit" to our centre: all of this contributes to create a climate of fear, violence and discrimination, and to make the air in this city increasingly difficult to breathe", Italo Siena, founder of the Naga-Har Centre stated. "Furthermore, what strikes us is the way in which these "episodes" occur in the midst of the most complete indifference".

We invite all the groups involved in the defence of the rights of foreign citizens to raise their levels of attention and to monitor and report any form of violation of rights, racism and discrimination. In any case, Naga, will continue."

[unofficial translation by Statewatch]

The original in Italian: "Giornate difficili da dimenticare"

Press release: Milan, 16/02/2010
Eviction in Segrate: a new usual case. Naga's complaint

"This morning at dawn, the umpteenth eviction began. It was the turn of the Roma camp in Segrate, where more than 130 people lived and where, in this case as well, positive integration processes were underway.

In this instance as well, the children who were residents of the camp attended local schools, and in this case as well, this morning, the female teachers were in the front line to support the evicted people and to try to bring the children to school.
In this instance as well, alternative and agreed living solutions were not found. In this instance as well, the only proposal on offer was that of separating the women and children from the husbands.

In this instance as well, the rights and fundamental rights of men, women and children who have been chased and tracked down wherever they have sought refuge for months, were trampled.

In this instance as well, mobilisations did not have any effect: the harassment continues in a relentless and foolish way.

In this instance as well, we found families that had first been evicted from the Roma camp in Rubattino, then from the Bacula area, then from Bovisasca, then, once more, from Rubattino and, this morning, from Segrate.

In this instance as well, for a day, weak spotlights will be focussed on the umpteenth eviction and then everything will return as it was.

In this instance as well, the city is inured.

Naga will continue to lend assistance in the city's discarded areas, in the Roma camps and wherever there may be a need for it, and we will continue to report any violation of anyone's rights."


For further information,
NAGA [+0039, for Italy] 02 58 10 25 99 - 349 16 033 05 - naga@naga.it
[unofficial translation by Statewatch]

The original in Italian, "Sgombero a Segrate: un nuovo solito caso. La Denuncia del Naga"


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