Italy. Interior Minister rejects murder charges in Nice | France


Rome, Italy – Italian Interior Minister responded to far-right accusations that the government’s “open door policy” was to blame for allowing the arrival and transit of a Tunisian suspected of having killed three people in a church in the French city of Nice.Minister Luciana Lamorgese’s comments came after her predecessor and leader of the Anti-Migrant League party, Matteo Salvini, led a chorus of far-right and center-right voices calling for her resignation, alleging that she and Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte had assumed “moral responsibility” for Thursday’s attack in Nice.

“There is no responsibility on our part,” Lamorgese told reporters on Friday, adding that it was “time to stop these controversies and be close to the French and other European countries, because it is ‘this is an attack on Europe’.

The suspect, Brahim Aouissaoui, 21, arrived on September 20 in Lampedusa, an Italian island in southern Europe that has long been the first point of entry for those crossing the Mediterranean Sea in an attempt to reach the Europe.

More than 27,000 refugees and migrants reached Italy by sea from January 1 to October 29, compared to 9,533 in the same period of 2019, according to data from the Interior Ministry. More than 11,000 have recently arrived from Tunisia.

Never reported

After arriving in Lampedusa amid the coronavirus pandemic, Aouissaoui was put in isolation with around 800 other people on the Rhapsody quarantine ship, then transferred to the mainland city of Bari.

Larmorgese said that Aouissaoui had never been previously reported as a potential threat by Tunisian authorities or intelligence services. A parliamentary security committee, however, has called for a session to question Lamorgese and police chief Franco Gabrielli about the suspect’s transit.

Brahim Aouissaoui is currently in critical condition in a hospital after being shot several times by French police [File: Zoubeir Souissi/Reuters]

Like all Tunisians entering Italy and classified as economic migrants, Aouissaoui received an expulsion order to leave the country in seven days from October 8.

But rather than return home, he went to France.

Lamorgese did not provide details of what steps, if any, were taken to ensure that Aouissaoui complied with the order.

The man arrived in Nice by train in the early hours of Thursday before entering the Notre-Dame basilica, where he allegedly beheaded a 60-year-old woman, slaughtered a 55-year-old man and stabbed another 44- a year old, who managed to escape to a nearby cafe before succumbing to his injuries.

The suspect is currently in critical condition in a hospital after being shot and killed by police several times.

‘Insecurity created’

Salvini, former interior minister, criticized the Italian government for “allowing the entry into Europe of thug murderers”, referring to an amendment earlier this month to his controversial bills which stripped asylum seekers essential protections and prohibited entry of rescue vessels.

In response, Lamorgese said Salvini’s so-called security decrees “rather than generating security, created insecurity”, noting that 20,000 people have been excluded from migration centers.

Citing previous attacks, Lamorgese added: “I wonder why on Earth the opposition forces, who today apologized to France, to which I express my solidarity, have not thought of s ” apologize in other serious cases such as the London Bridge Underground attack in 2017, and [Barcelona’s] Rambla in 2017. »

Anna Simone – professor of political science at Roma Tre University whose work has focused on researching the criminalization of migrants in the media – said that events such as the Nice bombing “intensify hatred against migrants blindly, and associate the figure of the migrant with that of the terrorist – with extremely dangerous consequences ”.

“Obviously, such episodes are then instrumentalised by the far right to criticize current migration policies,” said Simone.


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