Italy: Dozens of illegal immigrants deported
Here is a country, that has come to their senses and are returning illegal immigrants back to their country of origin. Here is the Council of Europe, turning on Italy and accusing them of violating Europe’s human rights convention (anyone got a tissue for me? Sniff). Council of Europe – when you can prove that you have taken some of these “migrants” into your home then I will listen to what you have to say. In the meantime, here is my one finger salute to your council.
Roma, 22 May (AKI) – The Italian government deported 29 illegal immigrants this week, the interior ministry said in a statement on Saturday. Most of those deported were Moroccan, Senegalese and Egyptians, the ministry said.
Italy’s conservative prime minister Silvio Berlusconi has pledged to crack down on illegal immigrants, who many Italians perceive as responsible for rising crime rates.
Most illegal immigrants enter Italy by land or air and stay on after tourist visas expire. But migrants trying to enter the country illegally from the Mediterranean packed aboard rickety people smugglers boats attract far more publicity.
The government has drawn criticism from the United Nations, rights groups, the Catholic church and the Italian centre-left opposition for its controversial policy of repatriating illegal migrants who attempt to reach Italy by sea from North Africa.
In a damning report last month, Europe’s top human rights watchdog the Council of Europe accused Italy of violating Europe’s human rights convention by turning back boatloads of migrants to Libya, where it said they faced the risk of mistreatment.
The report by the watchdog’s committee for the prevention of torture urged the Italian government to immediately review its policy of turning back migrant boats.
It called on Rome to guarantee that migrants receive care and assistance, including the right to request asylum and other forms of international protection.
Coastal patrol vessels have turned back thousands of illegal migrants aboard people smuggling boats in the Mediterranean since the Italian and Libyan governments signed a pact last year.
Prosecutors in the southern Italian city of Siracusa in April sent for trial two senior police officials for their roles in intercepting and turning back 75 migrants in the Mediterranean in late August 2009.