Concern over the arrest of the mayor of Riace, a model for integration

Press Release

Brussels, 2 October 2018

The mayor of the Italian village of Riace, Domenico Lucano, which has become a pioneering model of integration known all around the world, is currently under pretrial detention accused of facilitating illegal immigration following a warrant issued by the Locri prosecutor.

This is the umpteenth demonstration of a growing system of criminalisation of solidarity networks which in few years have witnessed an increasing number of arrest warrants directed at NGOs, civil society organisations and individuals active in rescue operations at sea, integration efforts and the promotion of open policies on migration.

EuroMed Rights will follow closely the evolution of Lucano’s case and reminds that according to the preliminary investigation findings no verifiable criminal act has been imputable to the accused so far. Therefore, EuroMed Rights calls for vigilance and asks not to underestimate the danger posed by the operations Italy is carrying out against migrants, refugees, asylum seekers and all those involved in international or national humanitarian and integration promoting organisations.

Note to Editors

Since 1998, thanks to the efforts of Domenico Lucano, the village of Riace has seen an extraordinary revitalisation based on a innovative model of integration of migrants into the local economical system. These efforts have not gone unnoticed. Mr Lucano has been named among the top 50 most influential people in the world in 2016. Riace’s model has been studied as a viable solution for integration in Europe.

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