Selected Works

Nonfiction
A look at life in little-known mountain towns of the Sicilian hinterlands.
A true account of the last years of an ancient Sicilian giant bluefin tuna trap.






Tags

Out of Palermo

Human suffering in Libya detention camps

September 7, 2017

Tags: immigrants, drowning, sicily, africa, trouble, border, europe, death, immigration, flow, people, africans, rescue, drowning, MSF, doctors without borders

A friend of mine -- Ester Russo, we were housemates in Palermo -- is now a psychologist for arriving immigrants with MSF, Medecins Sans Frontieres (Doctors without Borders) in Trapani, Sicily. She hears the horror stories of violence, rape, beatings, starvation, racism and murder in Libyan refugee camps. She alerted me to the following report.

"For more than a year, Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) has been providing medical care to refugees, asylum-seekers and migrants held inside Tripoli detention centres in conditions that are neither humane nor dignified.

Detainees are stripped of any human dignity, suffer ill-treatment and lack access to medical care. Detention is causing harm and unnecessary suffering. It is directly linked to the majority of the physical and mental health problems for which detainees require medical attention. People are held arbitrarily with no way to challenge the legality of their detention, virtually no access to consular services or to the outside world.

With no rule of law in Libya, the detention system is harmful and exploitative. There is a disturbing lack of oversight and regulation. With no formal registration or proper record-keeping in place, once people are inside a detention centre there is no way to track what happens to them. Some people are held for prolonged periods of time; others are transferred between different detention centres, moved to undisclosed locations or disappear overnight.

MSF witnesses on a daily basis how much unnecessary harm is being caused by detaining people in these conditions. There is only so much medical teams can do to ease the suffering.

MSF calls for an end to the arbitrary detention of refugees, asylum-seekers and migrants in Libya. "

Doctors without borders temporarily suspends rescues of migrants at sea

August 12, 2017

Tags: immigrants, drowning, sicily, africa, trouble, border, europe, death, immigration, flow, people, africans, rescue, drowning, doctors without borders, vos prudence

From the Guardian:
Doctors Without Borders has said that it is temporarily suspending the activity of its rescue ship owing to alleged threats from Libya. The Libyan coastguard has increasingly become more aggressive in patrolling the waters off its coasts where human traffickers launch boats crowded with migrants desperate to reach Europe.

The humanitarian group said the rescue coordination centre operated by Italy’s coastguard had informed it on Friday that the Libyan threats pose a security risk. The group added that Libyan authorities declared their own rescue area, extending into international waters, the same day.

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