Free Mimmo! Arrest of Riace mayor condemned
Italian mayor - famous for championing refugee rights in Riace - arrested today for aiding and abetting illegal immigration
It is with great concern that GUE/NGL learned of the arrest of the Mayor of Riace, Domenico ‘Mimmo’ Lucano, in Italy today.
Mayor Lucano and the ‘Riace model’ are an example of integration and civilisation to the rest of the world - in a Europe and Italy where racism and political fearmongering are becoming more widespread. This is why Mayor Lucano was targeted. This is why he has been subjected to hate campaigns for months - one led by the Italian interior minister, Matteo Salvini.
GUE/NGL hereby expresses its full solidarity to ‘Mimmo’, his wife and the entire community in Riace. Italian MEP Eleonora Forenza (L'altra Europa, Italy) said:
"The decision to put Mayor Lucano under house arrest is totally disproportionate to his alleged offenses, and we are certain that ‘Mimmo’ will soon be fully exonerated.”
“This looks more like a punishment for showing his solidarity with refugees than the results of a serious, legal investigation,” she added.
“In a region like Calabria - where organised crime groups have also declared war on the Mayor - it is very odd to have placed him under arrest, and also wasting all these hours trying to find examples of wrongdoing in his administration - all because of his stance over refugees,” Forenza said.
MEP Miguel Urbán (Podemos, Spain) also condemned the arrest:
"By arresting Mayor Lucano, they’ve criminalised an immigration policy that is based on solidarity, safe passage and the right to asylum - an immigration policy that is in accordance with international law, the European Convention on Human Rights and the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the EU.”
“We will say it over and over and over again: solidarity is not a crime! Saving lives is not a crime! Enough xenophobic policies!" he declared.