European Court of Human Rights - interim measures Italy and EU Members States should stop deportations towards Libya

The third section of the European Court of Human Rights has asked Italy to suspend the expulsion of 11 immigrants to Libya. This case presented by a team of Italian lawyers coordinated by Antonio Lana, on behalf of 79 foreigners, is intended to contest the legality of the measures of collective expulsion of these persons from Italy (Lampedusa) towards Libya.

In a letter dated may 10th, 2005, the President of the Third Section of the European Court of Human Rights indicated, in application of the article 39 [1] of the statute of the Court, that is was preferable, "in the interest of the parties" and to ensure due process, not to expulse these 11 immigrants from Italian territory.

This measure intervenes at the opening of the case at the Court on a matter presented by the lawyers, requesting the annulations of requests to expel from Italy to Libya.

" These interim measures are a first step towards the recognition of the illegality of measures of eviction towards Libya", said lawyer Antonio Lana, a member of UFTDU.

FIDH, UFTDU -a member of FIDH-, and the European Association for Human rights (AEDH) believe that States should extend the application of the interim suspension to all migrants, who are likely to be deported to Libya. « The interim measure on the examined individuals should be extended to all migrants and asylum seekers who are in the same situation. Behind the freezing of the expulsion measure of these 11 persons, we believe that all expulsions form Italy to Libya ought to be frozen. Similarly the negociation of the EU-Libya agreement on these matters should be frozen," said Sidiki Kaba, President of the FIDH, "the Italian and European authorities ought to suspend their expulsions to the decision of the European court, till it pronounces itself on the substance".

In a report to be published at the end of May, FIDH’s analysis of the situation of migrants and asylum seekers in Italy reveals that the Italian migration policy is at the core of numerous violations of international human rights and refugee protection instruments - such as the 1951 Convention relating to the status of refugees, the International Covenant on civil and political rights, and the Convention against torture.

This decision is the most recent development in a political debate that has already led to the European Parliament’s disapproval of Italy’s policy of expulsions [2]. Many international NGOs, including FIDH, have also condemned Italy for its agreement with Libya on the return of migrants who arrive on Italian territor. Behind Italy, the European Union itself is currently negotiating with Libya the migrants’ deportation.

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