24 August 2014: Speaking with the Huffington Post about the controversy arising when the Interior Minister of Bavaria, Germany accused Italy’s Interior Ministry of not taking the fingerprints of refugees that arrive on Italy’s coasts, CIR’s Director Christopher Hein noted that it is not possible to force a person to be fingerprinted, unless there is a judicial order. “When we consider all those who have landed in recent months, 4,000 people arriving in two days at Sicilian ports. How can a judge issue so many orders in an extremely short time?” Hein asked.
21 August 2014: Father Mussie Zerai, Chairman of the Habeshia Agency for Cooperation and Development, has launched an urgent appeal to Europe and the entire international community to find a solution for the thousands of refugees in Libya who are at risk of being “trapped” by the war.
19 August 2014: All EU countries should “do more” on the immigration front since Frontex is “a small agency” without means, according to an EU Commission spokesperson after Italy’s Interior Minister Angelo Alfano expressed the hope that Frontex would take over Italy’s “Mare Nostrum” Operation. According to the spokesperson, “the Member States must do more with means and financing”.
19 August 2014: On August 13th, Radio “Anch’io” (“Me too”) on RAI 1 Radio, focused its program on Operation “Mare Nostrum”. CIR’s Director Christopher Hein spoke and reiterated the need to “guarantee those who need protection a protected and legal arrival, to…build bridges to this fortress”.
16 August 2014: The Italian Interior Ministry has published updated data on migrants and asylum seekers.
International protection requests: From 1 August 2013 to 31 July 2014, 35,424 requests for international protection were adjudicated. Of these, 24, 435 received some form of protection, including refugee status (3,784), subsidiary protection (8,143), permits of stay for humanitarian reasons (12,508), with 9,691 receiving denials, and 1,298 having other outcomes.
14 August 2014: ISTAT (Italy’s national statistics agency), based on data provided by the Interior Ministry, reports that as of 1 January 2014, 3,874,726 non-EU foreign citizens were legally residing in Italy. This represents a 3% increase, or about 110,000 people, since 2013.