Between Italy’s cliffs and ocean, migrants bid to outperform police

In the border town of Ventimiglia 500 beings are determined to make their style to France

For the fifth time in one week, Sami, a 25 -year-old from Guinea, were attempting to cross into France from the Italian margin municipality of Ventimiglia.

As the qualify moved along a trail sandwiched between the steep cliffs of the Maritime Alps and a glint Mediterranean sea, delivering well-manicured beach resorts along the way, he was feeling hopeful.” I simply need to get as far as Marseille where I have a friend who can help me contact Germany ,” he told the Observer .” All I crave is a better life- in Guinea it is not feasible, it is so pervert .”

But, after a few weeks of frustrated was trying to cross an impenetrable border, Sami’s plan was scuppered once again by frontier police at Menton-Garavan, the first stop along a roadway that elapses through Monaco and Nice before arriving in Cannes.

Along with three others, he was escorted off the study and immediately recognised by an officer who had caught him the day before. Tourists aboard the teach looked on in bewilderment.

” On some periods we find between 10 and 20 migrants on each study ,” said the detective resulting the team of four.” We are doing nothing wrong in mailing them back; it’s within the law. They are supposed to stay in the country in which they first arrived .”

This game of cat-and-mouse has played out between France and Italy since early 2011, shortly after the Arab spring and Syrian crusade caused the most difficult migration crisis since the second world war. Between January and May this year alone, French sovereignties say they was sent out 10,524 people who tried to cross either by qualify, or by sauntering along the motorway or a destructive mountain path.

The situation contacted boiling point last week when Emmanuel Macron, the French chairman, was accused of “hypocrisy” by Giuseppe Conte, Italy’s new “ministers “, after he criticised his southern neighbour for blocking the Aquarius from Italian ports. The rescue carry had saved more than 600 beings from the sea off Libya. The ordering come in from Matteo Salvini, the recently set anti-migrant interior minister and manager of the far-right League, which is currently in authority with the populist Five Star Movement.

Relations between Macron and Conte appeared to have thawed on Friday in Paris, where they called for the EU to establish asylum processing cores in Africa as a path of stopping the flow of migrants across the Mediterranean.

But in the perennial migrant waiting room of Ventimiglia, a coast city which has become known as the” Calais of Italy”, kindnes laborers are unconvinced.” Where will they set up these centres? Surely not in Libya ,” said Daniela Zitarosa, from the Italian humanitarian bureau Intersos.” You can’t precisely made cores in countries from where asylum seekers escaped because their lives were in danger .”

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About 500 migrants are staying in a Red Cross camp on the outskirts of town. Photograph: Miguel Medina/ AFP/ Getty Images

Zitarosa contributed evidence to a report released by Oxfam on 15 June accusing French mete police officers of imprisoning migrant children as young as 12 without food or irrigate, cutting the soles off their shoes and stealing sim placards from their mobile phones before illegally returning them to Italy. The accusations came two months from French police were accused of falsifying the birth appointments of migrant children on” refusal of entryway” records so they are likely to deliver them off as both adults and send them back.

Under the Dublin regulation, child migrants in France cannot be sent back to Italy if they request asylum. EU law stipulates that unaccompanied minors must be protected, and that those seeking asylum in one member state have the right to be transferred to another where the government had family members.

The police officer at Menton-Garavan rejected the claims as “completely false”. He said:” If that’s what they say, that’s what they say … we’re just here doing our activity, monitoring the instructs .”

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At least 16 migrants have died when attempting to cross into France since September 2016, either by falling off the mountain itinerary or being hit by automobiles. A migrant was recently electrocuted after clambering on top of a instruct, the police officer said.

Some 16,500 beings, a one-quarter of them children, had delivered through Ventimiglia in the nine months to April, in accordance with the Oxfam report. About 500 are currently staying in a Red Cross camp on the outskirts of the city. Neighbourhood experts recently destroyed a makeshift clique beneath an underpass along the banks of the Roia river. Meanwhile, a priest who had been hosting beings in a religion opposite was forced to stop after receiving threats.

Zitarosa judgments around 200 migrants are sleeping rough, in ballparks or on the beach. She said there had been an increase in advents in recent weeks as the summer approached:” You listen narrations every day from people who have suffered … to begin in personal accounts in their home countries and then its own experience in Libya and the high seas sweep ,” she added.

” Then, in Ventimiglia, “theyre about” being pushed back and tolerate even more. It’s not an easy occupation and it stirs me feel deeply sad. With all the political trash I feel even more worried about the future as these people are not being treated like human being- politics is being made out of people and it needs to stop .”

For Sami, who arrived in Italy by barge and had get some sleep for more than a few weeks in a common in Ventimiglia, yesterday’s setback did not distinguish the end. He is determined to make it to Germany and find work.” This is my fifth age ,” he said.” I will keep trying .”

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