Verona, human rights activists gagged protest in front of the police station: “Four complaints for slander and we don’t know why”
Gagged and blindfolded. A surreal press conference, voiceless at least in the initial part, it was held in front of the police headquarters of Verona. The activists of some movements committed to the protection of migrants demonstrated the dissent for a judicial initiative that hit them. Four of them received a complaint for slander, after a series of initiatives that were intended to report i serious inconvenience that non-EU citizens are suffering from bureaucracy and endless waiting to obtain residence documents. “Let’s say no to the endless queue of the without rights” is the slogan with which they presented themselves.
“We got gagged – he explains Giorgio Brasola, of the Paratodos Self-managed Laboratory – to make it clear that we cannot even speak, because if we speak we are denounced. It happened a few days ago ”. On a two-sided day, January 12, four activists were summoned to the Police Headquarters in the morning and identification was carried out with the communication that at the beginning of 2022 a criminal case for a crime was opened by the Public Prosecutor (punishable by 4 to 12 years’ imprisonment), allegedly committed “in Verona in December 2021”. “In the afternoon a technical meeting was scheduled to discuss the problems of migrants and first the officials denied knowing anything, then they said it was not up to them …”.
Those interested are wondering what it can refer to a survey for slander, which is committed when someone is reported to have committed a crime, even though they know it innocent. “Nobody of us has introduced a complaint or a lawsuit. We limited ourselves to issuing a press release announcing the garrison in front of the Police Headquarters which then took place on December 28th ”. The signatures were: Paratodos Self-managed Laboratory, Migrants Observatory, Rights / Infospazio 161, Mediterranea Saving Humans, Communist Refoundation, Pink LGBTQE-Pink Refugees Circle, Cub Verona, Adl Cobas and Assmblea 17 December.
“We do not know with certainty the reasons for the complaints – explains Brasola – since we cannot yet access the documents, but the possible components among the garrison, peaceful and supportive, andarrival of complaints it amazes and disturbs us “. The sentence in them could be legal, according to the movements and theirs could be legal, the following: “At the Police Headquarters we ask that we no longer tolerate arbitrary and offensive functions and behaviors, if not specifically racist, on the part of officials and operators. Unfortunately, more and more often, there are reports of cases of verbal violence and humiliations suffered by migrant people“.
How is it possible that this sentence has given rise to an accusation of slander, given that it is contained in a simple leaflet? The flyer with other requests: reception of migrants in available and unoccupied facilities, good of the code interminable outside the Police Headquarters, responses to Pec of foreign applicants (“In recent months they have been completely ignored”), reduction of the times of release and renewal of permits of stay. The Prefect was asked to remove the bureaucratic procedures, which half of the applications of the 2020 amnesty have not yet been examined.
“If it were as we assume, it would be an extremely serious fact as one intimidating will and repressive of the freedom of criticism and denunciation of the work of the institutions, when they are unable to give an adequate response to the needs of the people “. With a poisonous tail: “They take it out on us that we care about these people without rights, while the Ministry of the Interior continues to pay 1 million 355 thousand euros per year of rent for this part of the police station that the municipal company Agsm sold years ago to an investment fund. – Brasola accuses – The citizen pays 112 thousand euros a month for a structure outside which the people cost sonorette to stay for hours in the cold waiting to be able to make a simple card or have an answer “. A petition has been launched on change.org asking the withdrawal of complaints and the solution of the many problems related to the management of migrants by the Police Headquarters and Prefecture of Verona. Hundreds of adhesions, including university professors, parliamentarians, trade unionists, associations and movements.