AI Index: EUR 30/007/2011 21 April 2011
A delegation of Amnesty International travelled to the island of Lampedusa and the “Village of Solidarity” in the environs of Mineo, in the Catania province, between 29 March and 2 April 2011. Prompted by widespread reports of a humanitarian crisis unfolding on Lampedusa, the delegation undertook research on the situation of thousands of foreign nationals who had reached Italian shores from North Africa in previous weeks.
On 20 April, Amnesty International wrote to the Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi and the Minister of Interior Roberto Maroni to express concern in relation to the findings of the research visit, as well as on the collective summary removal of Tunisian nationals from Lampedusa to Tunis from 7 April onwards, following the signing of an agreement between the Italian and Tunisian authorities.
The organization has been closely following the response of the Italian authorities to the recent arrivals since their beginning. On 22 February, Amnesty International wrote to the Italian authorities to express serious concern, among other things, over the inadequacy of the assistance being provided to those who had arrived on Lampedusa from North Africa and, in particular, the plight of those forced to sleep outdoors.