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7 November 2016, Associazione Diritti e Frontiere (ADIF)

"We address the following appeal to all the associations, social and political forces and sections of civil society which consider the attack against Amnesty International unacceptable and intend to continue to advance any effort to shed light on what is happening to the migrants who arrive in Italy.


With the report "Hotspot Italy: How EU's flagship approach leads to violations of refugee and migrant rights", published on 3 November 2016, Amnesty International has reported the cases of violence and illegality which have been recorded in the Italian identification and reception system for some time. Many of us have done this, but in occasional cases limited to specific situations. Instead, on the basis of painstaking work to gather testimonies, Amnesty has placed the systematic violation of constitutional principles and international conventions - that is, the milestones of our civil coexistence which are meant to guarantee respect for human rights, and for everyone's liberty and dignity - before the media and institutions.

The head of the Viminale's [seat of the interior ministry] Department for Civil Liberties and Immigration described the report as a collection of "stupidities" and "falsehoods" put together in London, and not in Italy. It was a violent attack, difficult to comprehend in a normal democratic dialectic between citizens and institutions. In fact, the common goal should be to safeguard those standards for reception and respect for people which are increasingly eroded by the policies of rejection and externalisation of borders imposed by the Union after it launched the European Agenda on Migration in May 2015. 

We consider it essential to close ranks around those who had the civil and political courage to criticise, without mincing their words, repeated and well proven abuses enacted by police forces within and outside of the centres: cases of unjustifiable violence during the course of procedures to identify and fingerprint people using force, including beatings, the use of electric batons and acts of sexual humiliation; violation of people's rights enacted during lengthy detentions within the so-called hotspots; violation of international law employed in fast-track returns and mass refoulements towards countries governed by regimes like those in Sudan and Egypt.

In its report, Amnesty has taken care to stress that many operations are carried out without any violation taking place, "thanks to the professionalism of police officers". This is why it is necessary for all the subjects who deal with immigration - starting from institutional ones - to gratefully welcome the work to report abuses by civil society and endorse the request made by Amnesty International for an independent investigation on what happens in identification centres or in the other places in which forms of administrative detention take place, regardless of their name.

We are alongside Amnesty, ready to add to and continue its work." 

Translation by Statewatch

This appeal was first published (in Italian) on 7 November 2016, "A fianco di Amnesty International"

ADIF (Associazione Diritti e Frontiere)
Campagna LasciateCIEntrare

To sign up in support: 


Progetto Melting Pot Europa
Lunaria, Volontariato Internazionale
Coop. Sociale Be Free
Associazione Garibaldi 101
Associazione K-Alma
CILD (Coalizione Italiana Libertà e Diritti)
Ri-Make milano
Clinica Legale per i Diritti Umani (Università di Palermo)
Osservatorio Migranti Basilicata
Oltreconfine-Scuola di italiano per Stranieri (Benevento)
Associazione Africa Insieme (Pisa)
Rifondazione Comunista, Sinistra Europea
Tenda per la Pace e i Diritti
Rete Antirazzista Catanese
Ospiti in Arrivo
Comitato Verità e Giustizia per i nuovi Desaparecidos
Rete Solidale Pordenone
Associazione Immigrati di Pordenone
Archivio Memorie Migranti
Campagna Welcome Taranto
La Kasbah
Milano Senza Frontiere
CSA Ex Canapificio (Caserta)
Confederazione COBAS Sicilia
Associazione Energiafelice
Associazione per i Diritti Umani
Ex Opg Occupato
Comitato 3 Ottobre
Asus (Messina)
Migralab Sayab (Messina)
Palermo Senzafrontiere
Organizzazione 24 marzo Onlus
Borderline Sicilia
Scuola Mondo San Giuliano Terme (Pisa)
Missionari Comboniani Palermo
Associazione Parsec
Borderline Europe
Leftlab (Prato)
MSNA Minori Stranieri Non Accompagnati Blog
Fondazione Casa della Carità "Angelo Abriani"
Casa Internazionale delle Donne
ACAT Italia (Azione dei Cristiani per l'Abolizione della Tortura)
ARCI Grottaglie
Comitato per i Diritti Civili delle Lucciole - Pordenone
Collettivo Antigone
Progetto Rebeldia - Pisa

See also: 

AI: Hotspot Italy report (pdf) and 

Statewatch Viewpoint: In support of the Amnesty International report: Other stories of violence in the hotspot system

Keep in touch: Statewatch Observatory: Refugee crisis in the Med and inside the EU: Daily news (updated through the day), commentaries and official documents

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