PHM Italy: Solidarity with Migrants

2 Jan 2014

Solidarity with migrants, immediate closure of all Centres for Identification and Expulsion (CIE)

We are currently witnessing the protest by a group of desperate migrants detained in a Centre for Identification and Expulsion (CIE) in Rome. Some of the migrants have literally sewn their lips together and many others have joined the protest through hunger strikes.

This is yet another protest by migrants, forced to take extreme forms of self-harm which they see as the only way to draw attention to their situation, using media pressure to get the authorities to listen.

The sewn lips forcefully shout out about the inhuman conditions in which migrants are forced to live in Italy, creating awareness about the various conditions they are subjected to in our country. These include both the institutionalized centers such as the CIEs, and improvised, dilapidated and inhabitable housing solutions.

The sewn lips shout out about the right to be considered as human beings, regardless of the reason for their journeys – inevitably difficult, risky and life threatening - that led then to change continents.

The Centres for Identification and Expulsion (CIE) represent an institutional limbo, where daily violations of basic human rights occur. These are a disgrace that can no longer be tolerated.

We invite you to refer to the report “Archipelago CIE” drawn up by the association "Physicians for Human Rights," which shows that the "inhuman and degrading situations within these structures are not isolated incidents – which anyway should be considered unacceptable. Instead they are frequent and persistent practices and conditions".

The sewn lips shout about all this in silence. We believe that the time has come to listen.

We call upon the initiative of citizens and organizations to provide support by extending solidarity to this heartrending protest and we appeal to all political and legal institutions for the immediate closure of all CIEs. This needs to be together with a redefinition of immigration rules in Italy, resulting in a reform of the immigration policies of our country to facilitate acceptance of migrants and a respect for human rights.

We also ask that women and men currently detained in the CIEs are not deported but instead are freed and allowed to live in our country, in conditions of dignity and freedom.

To join the call and support this struggle, please write to [email protected]

Organizations- Groups- Associations joining the call:

People’s Health Movement Europe, Medici Senza Camice (Roma), Centro di Salute Internazionale (Bologna), Osservatorio Italiano sulla Salute Globale, Società Italiana di Medicina delle Migrazioni, Rete Italiana per l’Insegnamento della Salute Globale, Associazione Cittadini del Mondo (Roma), Laboratorio Itinerante della Decrescita (Roma), Ciclofficina Gazometro (Roma), Aps Garibaldi 101 (Napoli), Link - Coordinamento Universitario, Gruppo AUGH - Autoformazione in Global Health (Perugia), Segretariato Italiano Studenti in Medicina

CLICK HERE for PDF statement

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