Police in front of the Detained Persons visited repatriation centre of Ponte Galeria, in Rome | Photo: ARCHIVE/ANSA/FABIO FRUSTACI
Police in front of the Detained Persons visited repatriation centre of Ponte Galeria, in Rome | Photo: ARCHIVE/ANSA/FABIO FRUSTACI

The Italian Guarantor for the Rights of Detained Persons visited repatriation centers (CPR) in Rome, Potenza, Bari, and Brindisi, and said migrants are living in deplorable conditions. It called on the government to take action.

The Italian Guarantor for the Rights of Detained Persons visited repatriation centers (CPR) in the cities of Rome, Potenza, Bari, and Brindisi. "Migrants in administrative detention are still in deplorable conditions," it said in a statement. 


"The government must evaluate the absolute necessity of making quality of life in these centers compatible with the recent extension of holding times," it said. 

On June 6, a delegation led by Daniela de Robert, a member of the Board of the Guarantor, visited the Ponte Galeria CPR in Rome, where the men's wing had recently reopened. On June 18, 19, and 20, a delegation led by President Mauro Palma and de Robert visited the Palazzo San Gervasio CPR in the province of Potenza and the CPRs in Bari and Brindisi. 

Situation of CPR guests very hard 

The statement from the Guarantor said the situation of CPR guests "is still very hard and worrisome, both from the point of view of daily life, which goes on without any activities, with obvious repercussions on the mental and physical health of the people being held (up to six months or even more); as well as regarding the material conditions of the areas, often damaged or set on fire by previous guests but kept in such conditions of deterioration and lack of hygiene," it said. 

"Some issues appear even worse than in the past, first because the possible extension of the stay makes these conditions even more unacceptable, and second because new issues have come up in the meantime," it said. 

An example was given of one center where all the public phones were broken and there were no cell phones available for the guests' use, which "risks compromising the right to defense and family unity."

Introduce the right to file complaints 

The Guarantor said some CPRs don't have areas with tables, and guests are forced to eat their meals on their beds. "A deprivation of freedom due mostly not as a consequence of crimes but for administrative irregularities, can't be similar to or worse than that of someone who is serving a prison sentence," the Guarantor said. 

"Nor may it provide fewer guarantees on the protection of rights, which is why the right to filing a complaint and the oversight power of judicial authorities must be introduced in situations where migrants are deprived of their freedom, as the National Guarantor has for some time recommended," it said.
 

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