Italian police officers escort migrants onto an airplane in Lampedusa, Italy | Photo: EPA/Carlo Ferraro
Italian police officers escort migrants onto an airplane in Lampedusa, Italy | Photo: EPA/Carlo Ferraro

A justice in Turin, Italy, ordered a last-minute suspension of the illegitimate repatriation of a young migrant originally from The Gambia. The migrant had been transferred to a repatriation center because even though he had the necessary requirements for obtaining a legal stay permit in Italy, he hadn't managed to obtain one due to a delay in communications with his home country.

The last-minute intervention of a Turin justice of the peace and a guardian ad litem, Monica Cristina Gallo, allowed a 19-year-old migrant from The Gambia to avoid deportation. The decision was made on Tuesday in the northern Italian city. The young migrant had already been in the care of social services for some time and had taken part in integration programs and initiatives. 

However, the young man had been sent to a CPR, a repatriation center, because although he had the necessary requirements to obtain a stay permit in Italy, he still hadn't received one due to delays in communications with his home country. 

His deportation flight had been set for Tuesday at 5 pm, out of Milan's Malpensa airport. Gallo appealed to the judge in her role as guardian ad litem for detained people, and at 11:30 am, the judge suspended the deportation. 

Prior to arriving in Italy, the migrant had spent some time in Libyan detention camps. 

Migrant released from CPR 

Following the judge's decision, the 19-year-old migrant was released from the CPR, where he had been held for two months. The juvenile court, some time before, had ruled that the migrant was deserving of a plan for integration even after his 18th birthday. 

The migrant was transferred to a reception center. Based on the judges' decision, he has the right to obtain a stay permit. 

The reason he had not received a stay permit yet was this: He did not have a passport and was thus required to undergo formal identification procedures by the authorities in his home country. While he was waiting for communication from The Gambia, he received an expulsion order signed by a justice of the peace. The required information from his home country arrived after he had been detained in the CPR. 

The guardian ad litem provided the judge in Turin with the necessary documents, including a reconstruction of the young migrant's integration program, to clarify the situation. 

Attorney says some cases aren't examined in-depth 

"The case of the young man from The Gambia demonstrates the need to carry out in-depth examinations of single cases of people who receive expulsion orders and are detained in CPRs. This is something that at times is not done sufficiently," the migrant's attorney, Gian Luca Vitale, said. "The directive that sets forth the rules on expulsion procedures calls for an in-depth, case-by-case examination. For example, it states that administrative detention for expulsion must be a last resort, and it allows for issuing a stay permit to foreign citizens, even if they are irregular, when there are humanitarian reasons or reasons of another nature that would make expulsion inadvisable." 
 

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