News from Lampedusa - a personal report (part 5)

This is the fifth in a series of reports from a NoBorders activist in Lampedusa. (Read: Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 ).

The island is almost free from migrants.
There are about 70 Tunisians left in the detention centre, plus about 50 that just arrived a few hours ago.
Yesterday, following the agreement between Italy and Tunisia, about 30 migrants were deported from here to Tunis by plane.

The Italian Government has decided to give a temporary permit to stay to all the north african migrants that arrived between the 1st of January and the 5th of April. This is a quite arbitrary and iscriminatory decision that is meant to legitimise the next mass deportation.

It seems that tonight the migrants detained in the detention centre organised some protests. It is quite difficult for us at the moment to connect with the migrants inside the detention centre as they are not allowed to go out as it used to be a few days ago. Besides today the police stopped us quite far from the detention centre when we tried to get close, while up to a couple of days ago we were able to go really close to the fences.

The decision to deport indiscriminately all the Tunisians that will
arrive in the next days sounds illegal.
In fact, the migrants do not get any chance to have their individual
cases properly considered.

From our previous contacts with the Tunisian migrants we had the impression that many of them should be eligible for asylum or at least humanitarian protection because they were all part of the protests against Ben Ali but they told us that the political situation is not really changed much since the present government has not been elected and Ben Ali's friends and relatives are still quite powerful.

I hope we'll be able to organise some protests against the next mass deportation also if we are just a few activists. In the meanwhile, tomorrow Berlusconi is visiting again the island to collect even more claps from the local people, now that Lampedusa is apparently back to normal...

I am not sure we are going to organise any action against him since the last time we had a quite violent response from a few local berlusconi's supporters (see video here).

Some interesting articles (in Italian):