© Copyright ANSA
© Copyright ANSA

© Copyright ANSA Italy's National Guarantor, who safeguards the rights of detained people, has asked for refugee reception centers in the country to be independently monitored. Rights groups have accused Italian officials of maltreating and torturing refugees.

Italy and Greece are home to "hotspots,"  hosting centers where refugees are taken in, registered, fingerprinted, identified and checked by doctors. In Italy, these hotspots are currently controlled by the interior ministry, but Mauro Palma, the country's National Guarantor for people detained and deprived of freedom, says that these hotspots have turned into a "judicial limbo," where the rights of migrants are not respected.

"Their judicial nature remains unclear, indefinite," Palma said, adding that judicial authorities were not required to examine whether migrants should be kept in hotspots and for how long, although the action had an impact on personal freedom. The structures were not suitable for migrants to stay there for a longer period of time and the hotspot framework also did not fully respect the right of immigrants, he explained.

According to Amnesty International, the hotspot approach was designed to swiftly assess what protection migrants needed and to either process their asylum applications or send them back to their countries of origin. The approach also intended to reduce pressure on frontline countries like Italy and Greece, with an option to relocate asylum seekers to other EU countries. However, this has not worked out and only 1,200 people have been relocated to other EU member states out of 40,000. Meanwhile, Italy continues to receive more migrants arriving by sea.

In a report published last year in November, the rights watchdog accused Italian officials of inflicting torture on migrants. These included forced fingerprinting, giving electric shocks to minor refugees and detaining people without any reason.


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