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We will also post relevant news worthy items and information on Human rights issues, racism, extremist individuals and groups and far right political parties from around the world although predominantly Britain.

Thursday, 11 February 2010


Amnesty International on Tuesday slammed what it called a "steady erosion" of minority rights in Italy as the country's record came under review by the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva. "There is a steady erosion of human rights, especially regarding migrants, minorities and possible asylum seekers," said the rights watchdog's Italian spokesman Riccardo Noury. "There are worrisome laws and practices," he said on Italian radio. Noury criticized security and anti-terrorism measures, in particular an accord between Italy and Libya that allows the Italian navy to intercept migrants at sea and return them to Libya with no possibility of applying for asylum. Noury also mentioned "norms that are not there but should have been in place long ago, such as a law that establishes torture as a crime." The Italian government came under criticism last month for its handling of a wave of violence against migrant farm workers in the southern town of Rosarno. The clashes left dozens injured and prompted more than 1,000 immigrants to leave the area, most on special buses arranged by the Italian authorities. In Geneva, Italian Deputy Foreign Minister Vincenzo Scotti told the Human Rights Council that Rome was committed to fighting racism and xenophobia. Scotti told the 47-state UN body: "The stigmatisation of certain ethnic or social groups remains a matter of serious concern for the government, state and local authorities. "We are fully aware of the challenge we are facing in this field and we are strongly committed to eradicate racist and xenophobic attitudes from our society," he added on the second day of the council's periodic review, which will run until February 19. Scotti acknowledged that an informal economy had taken hold in Italy that left migrant workers without protection.

The deputy minister detailed a project to improve housing and integration for migrants in Rosarno. He noted that 300,000 non-European workers obtained documents under measures introduced last year. The Rosarno violence prompted two UN human rights experts to call on Italy to make a "vigorous" response to "growing xenophobia" in the country. Some representatives to the council recognized the "challenge" of dealing with an immigrant population that has grown by nearly 250 per cent in the past 10 years. John Mariz of the United States voiced concern over the fingerprinting of Italy's 160,000 Roma and Sinti (gypsies), which he said "could perpetuate their social stigmatisation." Italy took a sharp turn to the right in 2008 when conservative leader Silvio Berlusconi swept to power for a third time in coalition with the anti-immigration Northern League. Their campaign emphasized pledges to fight illegal immigration and crime, often closely linking the two.