‘They are terrified’: Italy election result deepens refugees’ deportation fears


The TV anchor was rattling off Italy’s general election results in the early hours of Monday morning and Zak could not fall asleep. He had been restless and sick with worry for weeks, ever since a neo-fascist had shot six Africans in the city of Macerata and the leaders of rightwing parties had vowed to kick 600,000 migrants out of the country if elected.

Zak, 17, comes from the Gambia and lives in a community for minors in Catenanuova, in the heart of Sicily. He made the perilous sea crossing from Libya in a wooden boat and has been waiting for months for a decision on his refugee status. He bears the scars of torture from eight months of beatings in Libya. His father is Gambian, his mother Senegalese. In Senegal he had been forced to attend Islamic schools. Feeling deprived of his liberty, he had decided to flee.

As the hours went by on Monday, his worst nightmare became a reality: an anti-immigrant coalition of rightwing parties took 37% of the vote. It was not enough to govern, but it gives them a powerful hand in the coalition horse-trading that has already begun. Zak now fears he will never get his papers and that he will soon be deported.(theguardian)…[+]