Last week, approximately 100 persons staying in the Via Corelli reception centre in Milan were transferred by  bus to the Taranto hotspot (approximately 1,000km south of Milan), where migrants and asylum seekers are being unlawfully detained. Similar incidents have been reported earlier this year, whereby people have been returned from Ventimiglia to Taranto

Dario Belluccio, lawyer and board member of the Association for Legal Studies on Immigration (ASGI), told ECRE: “It’s hard to explain this huge waste of public money by the Italian authorities. It seems that the will of the Italian authorities, with regard to applicants for international protection, is to limit their secondary movements to other European countries. In this sense, sending people to the Taranto hotspot acts as a deterrent.”

The President of the Italian Senate Extraordinary Commission for Human Rights, Luigi Manconi, has addressed the Prefect and the Questura of Milan to request more information on the reasons for transferring the group to Taranto, and to investigate their treatment in the hotspot.

“From a legal point of view, because of the absence of legislation (Italian or European) that legitimises the existence of hotspots in Italy and, therefore, of the unlawful detention of people within each of these places, we can say that all transfers to and detentions in the hotspot are illegal and contrary to several provisions of the Italian Constitution”, added Dario Belluccio.

A report published by Amnesty International this week details a series of human rights violations against migrants and refugees in the Italian hotspots, including detention and use of force to coerce fingerprinting that may amount to torture.

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