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Gambians attacked at Italy’s asylum camp

Oct 18, 2016, 10:44 AM

Three Gambians and five other African asylum seekers were attacked on Tuesday living many wounded and immediately helpless in an asylum camp in Acerra, Italy.

The violence happened between the hours of 20:00-21:00 at the asylum camp of Acerra, in the periphery of Napoli on 11 October 2016.

According to the asylum seekers, two unknown man and woman came to their house and suddenly jumped on them leaving them in blood and terrified.  Some of the asylum seekers are minors.

The attack happened at a time the asylum seekers have continued to request for some winter clothing from the camp authorities as the cold season drives nearer.

The Point’s correspondent in Italy, Alagie Jinkang, said he has tried to reach the camp authorities but to no avail.  The authorities at the camp of Raggio Di Luna, Via Valio No. 56, Acerra, who are responsible for the welfare of the migrants, refused to speak to the correspondent after many attempts.

The migrants are presently seeking help from the police but the assailants were still unknown.

Mr Jinkang said the camp authorities are furious for being accused of sending the attackers.  He said the asylum seekers are willing to make all efforts to get justice.

As the winter draws nearer, many of such complaints and occurrences define asylum seekers, he said.

Italy is a signatory to the Geneva Convention 1951 and the 1967 protocol that guarantees minimum living conditions to all asylum seekers.

The Italian and EU migration policies also state that certain basic conditions of asylum seekers must be met without compromise and migrants must be provided full protection in line with the international law and the 2030 dream goals of UN High Commission for Refugees. 

However, Italy is apparently not meeting up its obligation under these statutes.

Our Italy correspondent said the general condition of asylum seekers in Italy did not meet the international standard as the rights of the migrants at the camps are under continued threats and violation.

“As a journalist, I face a lot of problems in trying to break the barriers to write the happenings in these hosting centres,” our correspondent said.

“The camp authorities see me as a rival, who is closing their doors. They do not even want to speak to me or let the asylum seekers tell me anything. The asylum seekers human rights are pies in the skies,” the correspondent said.

He also pointed out that there are already more than 200 Gambians imprisoned in Italy and many more struggle daily to be accepted in the communities they live.