The sentence by the Milan Court of Assizes of 10 October 2017, deposited on 1 December 2017, documents in great detail the inhumane reality of the Libyan detention centres, where evidence of forced labour, torture and sexual violence against women and children has been recorded for a long time. Libya is unequivocally defined as a place that is unsafe. After all, for some time, the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (UNHCR), the United Nations Commission on Libya, several humanitarian organisations and various international observers have certified the cruel, inhumane and criminal truth about the Libyan detention centres. Among these, we recall the United Nations’ official report of 18 December 2018, entitled Desperate and Dangerous: Report on the human rights situation of migrants and refugees in Libya.

The recent sentence of 23 May 2019 by the Trapani gip (judge for preliminary inquiries), deposited on 3 June 2019, certifies the prohibition of collective refoulements and the lack of validity of the agreements with Libya because they contravene imperative norms of the international law of the sea. 

The Italian juridical world has been wondering for some time about the validity of such agreements, that were adopted without complying with the Italian Constitution’s provisions.

Finally, the communication submitted to the International Criminal Court on 3 June 2019, certifies and documents crimes against humanity committed between 2014 and 2019 in the Mediterranean area. Specifically, some EU member states’ direct and indirect penal responsibility is hypothesized for: 

  1. The death by drowning of over 19,000 civilians and asylum seekers fleeing from an armed conflict;
  2. The refoulement of 50,000 civilians fleeing from an armed conflict;
  3. Responsibility through complicity with crimes against humanity and, in particular, for deportation, homicide, forced detention, coercion into slavery, torture, rape and mass persecution.

Italy, alongside other European states, has been accused before the International Criminal Court. 

As Osservatorio Solidarietà – Carta di Milano, we condemn the seriousness of this general situation in which Italy appears to be considerably involved. By the coming 2 November 2019, Italy is required to adopt a position on the agreements with Libya which, apart from envisaging the possibility of unlawful refoulements, certify our State’s partnership in a situation that is in the international spotlight due to serious crimes against humanity.

Therefore, we ask for political legitimation of Italy’s agreements with Libya, which are already strongly questioned from a juridical perspective, to cease.

To join this appeal, write to: