The CPR ('Residence and Repatriation Center') in the Italian town of Gradisca d'Isonzo, located in the northeastern Friuli-Venezia Giulia region, where a man, presumably a Moroccan citizen, died on December 7 | Photo: Alice Fumis/ANSA
The CPR ('Residence and Repatriation Center') in the Italian town of Gradisca d'Isonzo, located in the northeastern Friuli-Venezia Giulia region, where a man, presumably a Moroccan citizen, died on December 7 | Photo: Alice Fumis/ANSA

The organization 'No CPR' is asking for the closure of the Center for Residence and Repatriation (CPR) in the northeastern Italian city of Gradisca d'Isonzo, along with all CPRs in Italy. The demand comes after the death on December 7 of a man believed to be a Moroccan citizen staying in the facility.

The repatriation facility is located in Gradisca d'Isonzo in the northeastern Italian region of Friuli-Venezia-Giulia. 'No CPR' is asking for its closure along with all such centers in Italy. It also calls for solidarity towards detainees after yet another death was recorded inside another CPR, located near Gorizia. CPR stands for 'Residence and Repatriation Centers' in Italian.

In a statement released on Saturday, December 18, 'No CPR' recalled that on December 7 a man believed to be a Moroccan citizen died inside the facility. The man was identified only with the initials 'H.B.R.'

"It is the third death since the reopening of the former barracks Polonio in 2019," 'No CPR' said, referring to the CPR in Gradisca d'Isonzo. Previously, Vakhtang Enukidze died on January 18, 2020, due to a pulmonary edema "under circumstances on which neither truth nor justice were sought," the organization said.

The other victim was Orgest Turia, who died on July 14 "following an overdose due to a likely mistake in the administration of methadone." According to 'No CPR', "Witnesses spoke about suicide" regarding this last death.

Recalling other deaths in similar facilities, the organization called CPRs "administrative detention centers where people are dehumanized and deprived of their freedom, with the perspective of a deportation, only because they don't have the appropriate documentation".

Read more: Italy - €40,000 a day for 400 people in repatriation centers

Tunisia becomes civil plaintiff after Tunisian's death

Meanwhile, Tunisia became a civil plaintiff in the judicial proceedings initiated by a Rome prosecutors over the death on November 28 of a Tunisian citizen in the CPR of Ponte Galeria in Rome.

CPR of Ponte Galeria resident Wisem Ben Abdeletaif died on November 28 after he was hospitalized twice in Rome, according to a statement released by the adjunct-consul, Mohsen Kheder.

"The embassy and consulate of the Republic of Tunisia in Rome intend to inform that in relation to the death of Tunisian citizen Wisem Ben Abdeletaif... at the San Camillo Hospital, after a period of detention in the CPR of Ponte Galeria, it has appointed Cherubino Scala as its lawyer," according to the statement.

"Such appointment occurred to allow Tunisian authorities to directly participate in investigations and obtain full clarity on the cause of death of Wisem Ben Abdeletaif and the potential responsibilities due to actions or omissions," the statement read.

Read more: Migrant repatriation center under investigation in Italy

Politician calls for closure of CPRs

Nicola Fratoianni, leader of the party Sinistra Italiana, described CPRs as an "unsustainable reality".

"Two days ago, a delegation of institutional representatives of the left visited the CPR in Turin, which is in a state of complete neglect and dismantlement and must be closed as soon as possible," Fratoianni said.

Calling for a closure of the "degrading and ineffective" centers, Fratoianni said he'd present a question in parliament to the government and Interior Minister Luciana Lamorgese on the situation in Turin.

"There are no procedures of isolation for health reasons, at least 60 self-harm episodes have been reported in two months, many held at the center are unvaccinated and would like to be but nobody deals with it, there is no presence of health agency ASL," he said.

"The conditions in which detainees are held are neither dignified nor their basic rights are respected with lawyers, diplomats or relatives unable to have a direct phone number to reach the CPR," Fratoianni added.

 

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