From contacts with some of those locked up in the CPR of Ponte Galeria, we learn that at least three women are still being held in the female section. We don’t have news concerning the male section, but the number of prisoners is also decreasing there, as no newcomers have been reported. As repatriation flights are banned following the Covid-19 emergency, people are being released with expulsion orders because their detention time has ended (45 days for those who’ve just got out of prison and 180 for the others), appeals made by lawyers had gone through and, as in the case reported today by the Legal Clinic di Roma Tre [Legal Clinics are places where one can obtain pro bono legal advice and assistance] because a Tribunal rejected prorogation requests submitted by the Police.
Even if the declared aim of the Centres for Repatriation is the deportation of undocumented people, and this is not possible because of the impossibility of repatriation flights to the prisoners’ countries of origin due to the pandemic, the CPRs continue to exist and generate profits for those who get rich out of administrative detention: the State and the cooperatives that run the centres. This makes it obvious how the function of CPRs is actually a completely different one: acting as a form of constant blackmail for those who don’t have regular documents, intensifying the distinction between “good” migrants – who have fair reasons for claiming stay permits, follow the rules imposed on them in the reception centres, undertake forms of voluntary work called internships for integration – and “bad” migrants, the undesired, not tolerated, marginalized section of society, who live in the constant condition of being imprisoned repeatedly, or being repatriated to the places they escaped from or never even knew. The distinction between the two conditions is feeble, as it is sufficient to lose one’s job or the requisites for a renewal of the stay permit to end up among the undesirable, or it’s sufficient to rebel against the oppressive and patronizing situation experienced in reception centres to be condemned and imprisoned in jails and CPRs.
The virus that has been worrying us for years is the State, with all its structures of detention.
We know well what’s the only antidote, and those who have always rebelled against imprisonment know it even better: fire.
For everybody’s freedom, fire to all cages, jails and CPRs!
Enemies of all borders
Here is a statement issued by Legal Clinic di Roma Tre:
COMMENT ON THE RECENT DECISIONS CONCERNING DETENTION
In recent days, the Tribunal of Rome confirmed the interpretation previously proposed relating to the detention of asylum seekers in the CPR of Ponte Galeria in the context of the Covid-19 health emergency and it has rejected five prorogation requests submitted by the Police of Rome, ordering the immediate release of the detained persons.
In the order attached to the post, the Tribunal justifies [its decision] with the prisoner’s right to health, which prevails over the necessity of immigration control, which in turn justifies detention, and with the very reason for the measure – as defined by “Repatriation Guidelines” – defaulting in the light of the impossibility to proceed with the repatriation of the detained persons.
Furthermore, the Tribunal highlights the positions taken by several international bodies, which declared to be in favour of the release of migrants held in detention centres, given the risks to human health linked to prolonged measures limiting personal freedom.
The decisions of the Tribunal of Rome and of other jurisdictional bodies on the national territory confirm what the Clinica – alongside several associations and social organizations – has been affirming since the beginning of the health emergency. The treatment of migrants stands today in clear contrast with the authority’s obligation to protect migrants’ health; and it is in open contradiction with the function – which by the way we think it is illegitimate – of facilitating the adoption of measures for repatriation to countries of origin.
Therefore we reiterate once again the necessity and urgency to close all CPRs, free the detained persons and offer adequate accommodations to those who don’t have a home where they can be safe.
Legal Clinic Roma Tre
Translated by act for freedom now!