European Court condemns Italy over treatment of migrants

Court rules that detention of three Tunisians in 2011 'diminished their human dignity'

European Court condemns Italy over treatment of migrants

World Bulletin / News Desk

The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) has condemned on Tuesday Italy for violating international law over its treatment of migrants at the refugees reception center on the island of Lampedusa. 

The European Court has ruled that Italy was in breach of Article Five of the Convention on Human Rights, which in its treatment of three Tunisian migrants in 2011.

According to a press release by the European Court, the three applicants, Tunisian nationals, Saber Ben Mohamed Ben Ali Khlaifia, Fakhreddine Ben Brahim Ben Mustapha Tabal and Mohamed Ben Habib Ben Jaber Sfar, left Tunisia for Italy in September 2011 during the Arab Spring.

After their boat was intercepted, they were transferred to the island of Lampedusa where they were brought to the reception center in Contrada Imbriacola.

Following protests, the center burned down and the applicants fled to the village of Lampedusa where they, along with some other 1,800 migrants, staged a protest.

The three applicants were arrested and transferred to a ship anchored in Palermo harbor where they remained for four days before being deported to Tunisia on Sept. 27th and 29th.

On Tuesday, the Court held that the applicants' detention had been "unlawful": "They had not been notified of the reasons for their detention, for which there was no statutory basis, and had been unable to challenge it," read the ruling.

The court also ruled that their detention “had diminished their human dignity”.

In its judgment, the Court urged Italy to continue to respond, without exception, to those in distress at sea and to guarantee their international protection and to put in place measures to allow the capacity at Lampedusa to be increased if needed and to improve facilities at the reception center. 

Following the Arab Spring revolutions in 2011, the island of Lampedusa in southern Italy had witnessed a large flow of migrants (more than 55,000) arriving from North Africa.

Article V insures the right to liberty and security, the right to be informed promptly of the reasons for deprivation of liberty and the right to the examination of the lawfulness of a detention.

Güncelleme Tarihi: 01 Eylül 2015, 15:11