A foreign citizen who arrived in Trieste in 2020 was denied access to asylum procedures in Italy due to the illegal behavior of the Italian authorities.
A foreign citizen, illegally readmitted to Slovenia and then to Bosnia on the basis of the Italy-Slovenia agreement, has the right to immediately enter Italy to seek asylum, in application of article 10 of our Constitution, while the Italy-Slovenia agreement violates international, European and Italian law.
This is the outcome of a decision in a summary proceedings, issued on 18.1.2021 by the Court of Rome, which accepted the urgent appeal filed by a Pakistani citizen, asylum seeker, transferred in July 2020 from Italy to Slovenia, to Croatia and then to Bosnia, according to an established States’ practice of chain readmissions.
With this decision, the Court sanctioned the illegality of the readmission procedure implemented on the Italian eastern border on the basis of an agreement signed between Italy and Slovenia in 1996, which was never ratified by the Italian Parliament.
The Court highlighted that this procedure is conducted in clear violation of international, European and Italian rules related to the access to asylum procedures. As a matter of fact, the asylum seeker has not been issued any official decision and his individual conditions have not been examined. Therefore the right of defense and the right to lodge an effective remedy were clearly violated.
Furthermore, the procedure included detention, which was carried out without any review by a judicial authority. Finally, the procedure infringed the obligation of non-refoulement which prohibits exposing people to risks of inhuman and degrading treatment, which, as documented by many NGOs including the Border Violence Monitoring network, is constantly present on the Croatian border.
In direct application of art. 10 paragraph 3 of the Italian Constitution, the Court recognized the applicant’s right to enter Italy immediately in order to have access to the asylum procedure, previously precluded due to the unlawful conduct of the Italian authorities.
This result was obtained by ASGI’s lawyers Caterina Bove and Anna Brambilla , thanks to the testimonies collected by the Border Violence Monitoring Network (BVNN) and by the journalist Martin Gottske, and thanks to the collaboration with all the organizations involved in documenting and countering the violence along the Balkan route. This ordinance represents a fundamental step for the rehabilitation of legality on the Italian eastern border.
In 2020 we have published the report “Balkan Route: migrants without rights in the heart of Europe”, a result of the work conducted by “RiVolti ai Balcani”, a network made up of over 36 realities and individuals committed to defending people’s rights and the fundamental principles on which the Italian Constitution and European and international standards are based.
The report, to which ASGI has contributed significantly, is the first selection and reasoned analysis of the main international sources on violence in the Balkans that is published in Italy.