Italy’s new Albania deal and its pioneers

May 8, 2024

Abschiebelager (CPR) in Mailand, Italien

In future, Giorgia Meloni will have Albania intercept refugees and bring them to camps before they reach Italian soil. She and the Albanian prime minister swear by human rights standards and speak of “solidarity-based cooperation between the two countries”. However, the models for these camps already exist and are common practice in Italy.

What happens in the CPRs (repatriation -stay- centers)? The organisation Naga runs a help hotline for people who are brought to the camp and documents all the information, pictures and videos that are shared with them.

People in these camps are sedated with medication – they are given strong drugs such as Tavor, Rivotril or Lyrica without the instruction or supervision of psychiatrists. Most people then become so tired that they can no longer speak and are no longer able to defend themselves in their legal cases – they are simply no longer sane.

Which people end up in these deportation camps is completely arbitrary. “Once a boy wanted to report to a police station and asked for the opportunity to apply for asylum. He was detained at the police station and taken to the deportation/repatriation centre without legal assistance or any kind of trial,” a Naga employee tells us.

“The worst thing is that we have to assume that this CPR in Milan is still one of the ‘best’. Because in this one, the detainees are allowed to keep their phones. The authorities therefore know that their behaviour and the conditions in the camp are documented and become public knowledge.”

In other camps of this kind, and certainly in the new camp in Albania, there will be absolutely no insight for justice or civil society. There will be a dark abyss for human rights, without control, without prosecution.

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