... which aims to expel citizens from member states. EveryOne Group and other human rights organisations asking the institutions of the European Union and United Nations to act against the latest racist measures by the Italian government.
To: The European Parliament, the European Commission, Council of Europe, Council of the European Union; Secretary-General of the United Nations; the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights; the Special Rapporteur on Contemporary forms of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance; the UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights Defenders.
Milan, November 8th, 2010
EveryOne Group and the Italian NGOs involved in human rights - and in particular those of the Roma people, migrants and refugees - are sending an urgent appeal to the institutions of the European Union and United Nations asking them to act against the latest xenophobic and racist measures that have already been passed by the Italian Council of Ministers.
We are talking about another "safety package" (decree law) written up by the Interior Minister, a leading politician in the Northern League party, which is notoriously anti-gypsy, anti-immigrant and anti European Union. The security package has already been approved by the Italian government, which is at present caught up in a political crisis (as the whole world can see from reading about the state of Italian politics in the newspapers) and which is now being held political hostage by the Northern League. The "security package" contains even more xenophobic measures, measures that are contrary to the laws and spirit of the European Union - particularly where it foresees the removal of citizens from member states from Italian soil (especially those of the Roma ethnic group).
We are talking about people already subjected to social and racial discrimination and who are therefore living in a state of poverty, forced to live off charity and by begging. This project of mass expulsion violates directive 2004/38/CE (concerning free movement) and directive 2000/43/CE (concerning non-discrimination), as well as the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union which protects poor citizens and those belonging to discriminated-against ethnic minorities. The project of xenophobic repression also violates the rights of the family, the child and sick and vulnerable individuals who are now labelled a "security problem". These latest measures against the Roma people are serious and intolerable abuses.
EveryOne Group would like to point out that due to the policies against minorities that have always been discriminated against, in Italy the police and magistracy have now absorbed this racial prejudice that is poisoning Italian culture, a culture which is now one of hatred and intolerance due to the years of racist propaganda carried out by almost all the political powers and the media. This phenomenon is preventing the Roma and poor immigrants beings treated fairly and justly by the law. In this climate, there are thousands of Roma citizens in Italian jails, or who have been hit by expulsion orders issued by police headquarters on the slightest pretext: "persistent" begging, occupying public or private spaces, theft (often for merely rummaging in refuse or "stealing" castoff clothes from garbage bins" etc).
The aim of the security package is to expel from Italy these families who have already been hit by unjust measures, in total contrast with the spirit of solidarity and antiracist ideals of the European Union. EveryOne Group also stresses how its activists are also being hit by unjust sentences and criminal proceedings - as well as intimidation and threats from the authorities, politicians and racist movements due to their commitment towards Roma and immigrants rights. This form of persecution, too, which violates the UN Conventions on human rights defenders and the European laws that protects those who defend, through non-violent philosophies, the human and civil rights of the vulnerable, is also part of a project that is hostile to ethnic minorities and integration projects for those who are poor and excluded from Italian society.
With this in mind we are asking the European institutions and the United Nations authorities to do everything in their power to ensure that this latest security package is declared illegal. We ask them to intervene against this rapid spread of intolerance against the Roma and poor immigrants; to promote true social equality and to defend the work of the human rights defenders, which in Italy is being strongly contrasted by the institutions and authorities, placing activism in a position of persecution and danger.