Italy: Tunisian citizens deported with parcel tape over their mouths

The degrading treatment occurred yesterday on the Rome-Tunis flight. A witness: "Passengers were indifferent, they told me it was a normal police operation"


Rome – April 18, 2012 – Plastic strips to block their wrists and wrapping tape around their mouth. This was the treatment reserved for two Tunisian nationals repatriated yesterday by the police on the Alitalia Rome-Tunis flight of 9:20 a.m..

Other passengers were on board, including film maker Francesco Sperandeo, who managed to secretly photograph the scene, as the hospital mask used as a cover-up tape slipped, revealing the tape. There is only one image, inevitably unfocused as it was taken furtively, but it clearly shows the gaze of a man degradingly treated.

"It raises the issue of whether, in addition to the right to remain in Italy, it is fair to take away even the dignity of migrants deported from a country – Italy in this case," commented the immigration portal Stranieri in Italia, who published the shocking images, raising a national case.

"This is European civilization and democracy. But the worst part was that everything happened with the total indifference of the passengers," says Sperandeo. His protests to the police officers who accompanied the two Tunisians were useless: "I was warned in an arrogant way to return to my place as it was a normal police operation…"

How "normal" taping the mouths of deported migrants is, is something that should now be clarified by the Italian Interior Ministry.


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