The Senate Immunity Board said no to the trial on Wednesday Matteo Salvini, rejecting the request of the Court of Ministers of Palermo to indict the League leader for trial kidnapping. The denied authorization to proceed, in this first verdict, is a relevant fact however, it is necessary to read and contextualize remembering the episode that triggered the case last August.
So let’s talk about 150 people. Women, men and children, fled from Libya and the ferocity of the prison camps, and rescued after several hours at sea by the NGO Open Arms.
As was a consolidated practice in those months, for 19 days, the then Minister of the Interior denied the Spanish rescue ship entry to the port of Lampedusa with yet another inhuman media tug of war, consumed to the sound of tweets on the skin of exhausted and debilitated castaways, a part of which has been landed over the weeks, with a prolonged dripping of medical evacuations.
A new show of political arrogance towards defenseless humans, which we have all witnessed in disbelief. Repeated muscle tests aimed at fueling the daily Northern League propaganda, on the skin of people to whom international law would have guaranteed the disembarkation in a safe harbor “without any delay”.
It is important to underline this: the denied authorization to proceed against Salvini is not alone a political fact, as the debate these days seems to suggest. It’s a error tell it this way to justify party strategies and tactics. We are talking about an issue that has dramatically to do with people, human beings. With their rights unalienable and with the duties that a civilized country like ours should fulfill. And if those duties, founding principles of our Constitution, fail, it is right that we respond to them in the appropriate places.
I know what happens in the Mediterranean. I saw it with my own eyes and I saw it in the eyes of the people we rescued and who, during scary journeys, have lost control of their lives. I saw the signs of the abuse and the violations perpetrated by traffickers and actually favored by a myopic Europe in terms of migration policies. Europe, which together with Italy, has chosen to outsource the borders by signing villainous agreements with a country at war like the Libyan one.
I also know what it means to give up the privilege ofimmunity.
When the power of attorney Agrigento has opened an investigation against me and the commander Tommaso Stella for saving, as chief of mission of Mediterranea Saving Humans, 59 people adrift, I immediately communicated to the magistrates that I would have renounced all my prerogatives as a Member of Parliament. I did it because I believe I acted in compliance with the law and my conscience. But also because I am convinced that those with political responsibility must always answer for their actions, without running away from processes by abusing immunity.
If Salvini believes he has acted correctly you face the process like, with me, are the commanders and heads of mission of NGOs who save lives in the Mediterranean.
Politics should not and cannot be substituted for Justice. It is the job of the magistrates to ascertain whether someone has harmed the rights of other people with his conduct even if this someone is a minister of the Republic. Nobody is above the law.
Politics must be first a tool of protection of people’s lives.
The pandemic reminded us of this with some violence: in these months of emergency, even more clear-cut, deep inequalities are emerging that risk feeding the fractures of our social fabric. Instrumentalizing people’s suffering by contrasting the interests of the weaker sections of the population with those of the latter to gain a little consensus on fear is an irresponsible and dangerous act. Especially at a time like this.
Our role must, as never before, be to sew together the edges of the most distant parts of our society, to bring them closer together and reduce their distances. We will only come out of this crisis if we can rediscover it the value of solidarity, to rebuild starting from the communities and their ability to resilience. Not fighting against each other.
Nobody saves themselves!