[fyeg_gen-l] FYEG says Italian deportations of EU citizens are a grave violation of fundamental rights

Cédric Dartois cedricdartois at hotmail.com
Fri Dec 7 12:08:58 CET 2007

Hello to all,
I agree with the general content of the press release but I must admit that I feel a bit uncomfortable with the way the title has been formulated : "Italian deportations of EU citizens are a grave violation of fundamental rights".
Under general international law the mere fact of sending back people to their country of origin is not a violation of fundamental rights. There are a few basic exceptions to this of course, such as returning a recognised refugee to his country of origin, or a country where a person -whether refugee or not- would be submitted to torture- are severe breaches of international human rights law.
Sadly we don't know enough about the concrete situation of these people who have been expelled (their public order records and how serious the facts are -if any-, their roots and family life in Italy etc). So I believe that another angle of attack in the press relase would have been to stress more on the fact that the situation of these individuals has been assessed (if so ?) on a very very short period of time making a proper and individual and serious assessment of their personal situation impossible. 
Indeed under for instance the European Convention of HR, in case of expulsion, the situation of every person/returnee has to be assessed individually in regard to public order breaches of course, but also in regard to other considerations such as family life & unity etc. Also under HR law the notions of public safety must be interpreted restrictively. In this case, we could have a breach of the principle of free movement of people, but also of the European Convention of Human Rights. But this is under conditional terms of course...

I agree with the idea in the press release that this situation will lead, sadly, to more polarisation and stereotyping between communities. 
Regards and all the best,
Cédric from Belgium
Refugee protection officer

-----Original Message-----From: FYEGSent: Tue 06-Nov-07 15:41To: FYEGSubject: FYEG says Italian deportations of EU citizens are a grave violation of fundamental rightsBrussels, 6/11/2007FYEG says Italian deportations of EU citizens are a grave violation of fundamental rightsIn reaction to the Italian authorities' deportation of Romanian citizens, the result of the adoption of a decree allowing for the deportation of immigrants if deemed to be "a threat to public safety", Bartek Lech, Spokesperson of FYEG comments: "Creating a climate of fear, suspicion and xenophobia, as the Italian government does with its recent decision, will not do anything to improve public safety. On the contrary, it will lead to polarisation and stereotyping, as last week's attacks against Romanians in Rome have demonstrated. Furthermore, these expulsions are a violation of EU citizens' fundamental right to freedom of movement, one of the cornerstones of the European project. Therefore, we consider these deportations not only as socially and morally unacceptable but also as a shameful act against the spirit of the EU, if not against its laws"Marina Barbalata, Spokesperson of FYEG adds: "This decree sets a dangerous precedent. Under current EU law, EU citizens can be expelled from a member state if they are a "threat to public order, public safety or public health". However, these criteria are completely arbitrary and can be used to expel any unwanted group from a member state's territory. In this case, it is obvious that there is a strong Romaphobic undertone in the Italian government's acts. This has also been demonstrated by the demolition of the Tor di Quinto area in Rome, which will only exacerbate the situation, aside from being a dubious act on its own. For these reasons, we call upon the Italian parliament not to ratify this discriminatory decree. We also urge all EU governments to refrain from using this clause of EU law, in order not to create a slippery slope which will make random deportations of EU citizens a customary practice".                                                            [ENDS]contact:Marina Barbalata, Spokesperson of FYEG, + 407 243 970 84Bartek Lech, Spokesperson of FYEG: +324 849 459 23www.fyeg.org <http://www.fyeg.org/>www.fyeg.blogspot.org <http://www.fyeg.blogspot.org/>
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