lunedì 18 giugno 2012

Fr. Zerai: "Too many obstacles and too selfish in the way of rights of refugees"

It celebrates World Refugee Day. Fr. Zerai: "Too many obstacles and too selfish in the way of rights of refugees"

Emilio Drudi

Tuesday night the Colosseum will be lit to mark the World Refugee Day, which since 2001 is celebrated every year on June 20 as agreed 4 December 2000 the UN General Assembly. The goal is to stop for a day to reflect and discuss the difficulties and tragedies of millions of people forced to flee their country, driven out by war and persecution. In the wake symbolic suggested by the lights of the Coliseum until dawn, there are a series of events throughout Italy. Starting from the meeting convened in Rome, at the Casa del Cinema, the High Commissioner (UNHCR), to take stock of the situation and ask for a greater commitment from governments in the North to deal more effectively and to address this tragedy, that in the last decade has witnessed a striking escalation.According to the latest figures in 2011 were less than 42 million men and women who have fled to escape from prison, violence, torture, death itself. "One in every 8 minutes - the Commissioner points out - and none of them chose to become refugees: they are the wars and violence from their loved ones and to separate them from their land." It 'a humanitarian emergency that can not pass over in silence. And that continues to grow in recent months. In these same days. One need only recall the tragedy of Syria, which is likely to extend hours to neighboring countries like Lebanon and Iraq. But the story of Libya, where even after the death of Gaddafi war is not over: it was not completed until, suddenly, the media interest, but the situation is explosive, with heavy fighting between the army and irregular militias The ruthless hunt for refugees "blacks" and more as the days of Nasser, the prospect more and more concrete in Cyrenaica prevail separatist movements, splitting the country in two.No coincidence that the slogan, the element that is proposed by the High Commissioner for thought, this year is "One family destroyed by the war is already too much." In Rome, were called to discuss, together with the UNHCR director for Southern Europe, Laurens Jolles, the Minister for International Cooperation Andrea Riccardi, and Oliviero Forti, representing the National Asylum Table. And the characters involved were known to the general public as Ermanno Olmi, Emanuele Crialese, Andrea Segre, Fiorella Mannoia. Similar initiatives are convened throughout Europe and the United States. But with what eyes refugees, people of the South, see demonstrations of this kind? An answer may come from Fr. Mussie Zerai, the priest Eritrean President Habeshia agency, who discovered and denounced the plight of refugee slaves in the Sinai."Over the past three years - says Fr. Zerai - we have seen the worse, indeed, the dismantling of refugee protection. The industrialized countries are concerned, first, to protect their living standards and their economy, but that often stands on the shoulders of the new slaves. So the world's richest funds in developing countries to hold off the poor, the persecuted who would knock on the doors of Europe, the United States, Canada, Australia. Increasingly, that is, these countries are willing to pay the transit countries from which thousands of desperate people out there to stop them, even if it means trampling on their fundamental rights. We have seen in the nearby North Africa where, despite the revolution, the conditions for migrants are worse than before. So, what are we going to celebrate, perhaps the failure to comply with international conventions? The examples are always more numerous. In Israel, the terminal of refugees fleeing across the Sinai, is denied the right of asylum to about 60 000 Eritrean and Sudanese refugees. And recently there have been abuses, arrests, assaults, fire damage in African migrants. Yet the world is silent. In Yemen, the refugees are thousands: they live in complete abandonment. Many are locked up in prison as if they were criminals, not medical care, and deprived of any right, in a condition degrading to human dignity. In Sudan, thousands of Eritrean refugees, Somalis, Ethiopians are at the mercy of human traffickers who, sometimes with the cooperation of corrupt cops, they abduct hundreds in the camps to sell them to gangs of robbers in the desert of Sinai, extort money from them to kill or sell organs on the black market for transplants. For more than two years denounce this traffic, this crime against humanity in the Sinai. And we have seen a continuous tragedy in the Mediterranean, with hundreds, thousands of refugees died at sea trying to reach Europe to seek asylum. More than 1500 victims in 2011: a lot because of lack of relief. Then, in the light of all this, a World Day for Refugees must make us reflect, first of all, the fact that millions of desperate people are put in a position of danger precisely where they hoped to find protection. "What a way to give, or rather, what "ask" at this point, the World Refugee Day? Fr. Zerai has no doubts: "To give real value to this event, the international community must work seriously to remove all obstacles, including financial resources, which impede the functioning of existing legislation to protect the rights of refugees. And efforts should be made to overcome the strong sense of selfishness in recent years has produced a series of restrictive laws that have endangered many lives and enriched, on the other hand, the traffickers of women and men. This day, ultimately, we must encourage everyone to demand more respect for those forced to leave their homelands in search of asylum. Just rejections of mass into the sea as on earth, then. Just detention of refugees criminalized without any guilt. We ensure that refugees do not come no more because they found the doors closed, but because they can finally live in peace in their land. "Here's the thing, then. The "Day" will only make sense if, beyond the words and promises of more, governments, institutions, those who have the levers of power, want to promote concrete policies to deal with this tragedy. And if in your heart and you will make in people's minds the conviction that the refugees is a priority that affects all of us closely: that defending the rights of those desperate, also equivalent to fight injustice and violence that occur in our own European society and "Western." And 'one of the great challenges of the future for the entire West. Indeed, perhaps the "challenge" number one. Because you probably do not leave through the global crisis exploded in recent years if you do not manage to find a system that respects the rights of all are in North and South. If, in a word, you begin to look at problems through the eyes of the past.

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