Italy [EN, IT] MicroMega, Visit of the CIE of Ponte Galeria by the MEP Barbara Spinelli in the frame of the campaign “LasciateCIEntrare”

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Article posted the 2014/12/19

[EN] On December 19th 2014, the GUE/NGL MEP Barbara Spinelli did a visit – announced – at the Center of Identification and Expulsion (CIE) of Ponte Galeria (Rome), in the frame of LasciateCIEntrare, a national campaign against the administrative detention of migrants, and linked to “Open Access Now”. Please find below extracts, in English, of the article written by Barbara Spinelli after her visit, and published in MicroMega on December 19th 2014:

Access to the CIE:

“On Friday, December 19th, I was here, in official assignment as MEP, accompanied by my assistant and spokesperson Daniela Padoan and a delegation of friends defenders of migrants and their rights. Ponte Galeria’s chiefs were obliged to open the portals, given that the access cannot be forbidden to a MEP and his/her assistant. Since the beginning, I asked to enter with a delegation, with which I prepared the visit. Yet, only the lawyer Alessandra Ballerini, Gabriella Guido, responsible for LasciateCIEntrare, and Marta Bonafoni, regional councillor of the region of Lazio, “secretly” entered. The others stayed outside, in the street, without any order by the sub-prefect in this sense.”

Criminalization of the migrants:

“Before I entered the Center, I asked to the watchmen: “is it possible to talk with them?”. “Wait a moment, the ringleaders are not here, they must be in the self”. “The ringleaders”? Yes, the ringleaders. This is how the representatives of detainees are called and described. Ponte Galeria’s lexicon is impregnated of words taken from the crime, the delinquency. “Anyway, we recommend you not to enter, they are very agitated. They are dangerous.” Since Monday, December 15th, the center is managed by a new firm, the French agency Gepsa, specialized in prison administration”.

Conditions of detention:

“Since Monday, there is a lack of everything in the CIE: winter clothes, sheets, underwear, toothbrushes, toothpaste, sanitary towels for the women. The new manager says it is a question of time, and some “disadvantages” will be resolved. […] It is forbidden for prisoners to have pencils or pens, to avoid them to ingest it and end up in an ambulance. They cannot have paper to write, for reasons they do not understand […]. The managers deny, but all the prisoners I spoke with were exasperated, because during the night, the neon lights at the ceilings stay switched on, and it is difficult – if not impossible – to fall asleep. Hence, an important use of sleeping pills. The administering of anti-epileptic is recurrent as well, or, for drug addicts, methadone. Tensions increase and go down like the tide, and, in function, authorities deploy, with truncheon well visible and big guns at the belt”.

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Date(s) of publication: 19/12/2014
Author(s): Barbara Spinelli
Credits: MicroMega