Come già fatto col presidente Mattarella, abbiamo scritto anche al presidente Juncker. «Voi sapete» è, infatti, rivolto a tutti i potenti del mondo.
Dear President Juncker,
I am writing to you while our country, Italy, is engaged in a discussion that, following an election campaign conducted with the same tones, might be interesting for the insiders, like myself, but only marginally touches the real issues, challenges and problems of our times.
I take this opportunity to bring to your attention a pamphlet that I have written, entitled “You all know. Indifference kills”.
We all know what has happened and is still happening, right now, along the migratory routes, between the Horn of Africa and Sudan, between Niger and Nigeria, up to the miserable situation of Libya. And we all know what has been and is still happening in Syria. Yet it is fresh news of these days that a delegation of “Alternative for Germany” travelled to Syria to verify the “security” conditions of the country with the aim of repatriating Syrian refugees now present in Germany.
We are horrified by policies that build physical and political walls, as demonstrated by the Balkan route and the black thread that links Istanbul to Budapest. We are horrified by the bombs on Syrian cities and the many civilians that are paying with their lives for a war they didn’t even want. And we’re horrified by the idea itself of repatriating Syrians.
The European Union has a huge responsibility, which is both political and cultural. We cannot pretend not to see the links between the evolving relationship with Egypt, where an Italian reasearcher, Giulio Regeni, was brutally tortured and killed, and the agreements struck with Tripoli that according to international media also involve the militias, and tie also the EU-Turkey deal with the Syrian crisis. The bombs on the Yemeni cities, the repatriation of Sudanese refugees in Sudan. And there’s also a colonial past we cannot afford to forget. The camps from which Eritrean refugees are fleeing were built decades ago by Italian fascists, and the tortures perpetrated there still have the same Italian names.
We are – we all: Italians and all Europeans – violating not only the most common norms of international law, but we are also denying our very identity and humanity. We all know, and also the powerful people who lead the nations know.
We are indignant when Poland tries to deny the existence of concentration and extermination camps by law, but you all know, we all know, that similar fields and clouds are gathering at the borders of the European Union, a Union born to be home to a new idea of wider citizenship, centered on peace and the protection of human rights.
What remains unsaid is that these rights seem not to belong to those who seem to have become “sub-humans”.
“It seems that nobody wants to recognize that contemporary history has created a new kind of human beings – those that have been placed in concentration camps by their enemies and in internment camps by their friends,” wrote Hannah Arendt in 1943.
I’m sending you this brief manuscript, hoping that it may be a spur in your reflections and that, in your role, you will remind all of us that, sooner or later, history – which will have the faces of our grandchildren – will judge us for what we all knew.