Italy reacts to UN criticism of security decree: “narrow minded and inadequate approach”

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Salvataggi (Guardia Costiera)

GENEVA, JUNE 11 – A May 15 letter from the United Nations in Geneva to Italy criticising the alleged restriction on migrants human rights in the government’s second security decree “addresses the very complex Libyan question with an astonishing narrow minded and inadequate approach, without taking into consideration Italy’s tireless efforts to enable the UN system to carry out its tasks in the country”, Italy replied to the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Michelle Bachelet, in a message obtained by ANSA on Tuesday. The response said that respecting human rights is a government priority.

The Italian response was contained in a letter from the Permanent Representative of Italy to the international organizations in Geneva, Ambassador Gian Lorenzo Cornado, and in a series of clarifications from the Foreign Ministry. Ambassador Cornado criticized the fact that the contents of the UN letter were made aware in advance to the Italian media, days before the official UN press release, while the electoral campaign was underway for the European elections, and that the letter “didn’t abstain from criticizing what was then a mere draft law-decree, not yet even presented for a discussion to a meeting in the Council of Ministers”. Therefore, writes Cornado, “it seems that the due basic impartiality of the Special Procedures was not guaranteed, as it should have been according to the Code of Conduct”.  The letter of May 15 asked Italy to withdraw the directives targeting the NGOs as well as the decree “because in violation of human rights”.

The Italian response notes that “the repeated transfer of migrants by some NGOs, with the sole aim of heading towards Italy, objectively constitutes an essential piece of a more articulated and structured chain which leads to breaking the provisions on legal entry into the national  territory, the respect of which falls within the primary competences of the Minister of the Interior”. These reiterated conducts – the text continues – “may risk de facto complement the transportation activity of migrants by sea and thus allowing the achievement of the ultimate goal to which smugglers aim through the landing on the shores of a European state”. In its response, Italy reiterates “the enormous complexity of the phenomenon that Italy is facing, epochal in nature and unprecedented”. Italy, which “has always had the protection of lives as its main objective” and with the initiatives implemented so far has drastically contributed to reduce the number of deaths at sea, “was not effectively supported by the international community”, states the response. (@OnuItalia)