Tag Archives: Lampedusa Tragedy

Italy Blocks DNA Evidence that Could Exonerate Human Trafficking Suspect

“We are basing our legal proceedings on other data, not on DNA.” – Prosecutors

A case of mistaken identity put the wrong man in jail. Italian investigators prosecuting the case has blocked admission of the new DNA test as evidence. (Illustration by Oliver Munday)

BY SALEM SOLOMON | VOA NEWS

Italian prosecutors will not accept as evidence a DNA test that could exonerate an Eritrean man accused of smuggling thousands of Africans to Italy.

It’s the latest setback for Medhanie Tesfamariam Berhe, whose trial has continued for more than a year, despite mounting evidence that Italian authorities are prosecuting the wrong person.

Berhe’s lawyer, Michele Calantropo, argued during a 45-minute hearing Wednesday that his client is the victim of mistaken identity in a case that has gained worldwide attention. Continue reading Italy Blocks DNA Evidence that Could Exonerate Human Trafficking Suspect

Suspected People Smuggling Ringleader Extradited to Italy

Medhanie Yehdego Mered, an Eritrean smuggler who claimed to have played a role in sending at least 13,000 people to Europe has been arrested in Sudan and extradited to Italy.

By Gaia Pianigiani | for New York Times,

An Eritrean man accused of organizing an extensive people-smuggling network that led to the deaths of hundreds of Africans trying to cross the Mediterranean Sea has been captured in Sudan and extradited to Italy, the authorities said Wednesday.

The arrest, which followed an investigation that involved the Sudanese, Italian and British authorities, was a rare instance in which a person has faced direct criminal charges for the human trafficking that has made the Mediterranean one of the world’s deadliest migration routes. Continue reading Suspected People Smuggling Ringleader Extradited to Italy

Italy, Germany Capture Fugitive Human-Trafficker from Eritrea

Yonas Redae, an alleged transnational human trafficker from Eritrea and part of a criminal organization that smuggled people from Africa to Europe has been captured.

By DPA-Correspondent,

Italian and German authorities have arrested a suspected human trafficker from Eritrea who had been on the run for months, police in the Sicilian city of Palermo announced on Saturday.

The man, who had been on the run since April under an international arrest warrant, was arrested in Germany and deported to Italy by plane from Frankfurt.

The arrested man is accused of being the leading member of a gang of traffickers who organized illegal crossings of the Mediterranean for thousands of migrants in exchange for large sums of money. Continue reading Italy, Germany Capture Fugitive Human-Trafficker from Eritrea

My Encounter with Fr. Mussie Zerai, Nobel Peace Prize Candidate (Open Letter)

A guardian angel of refugees or an evil clergyman?

By Daniel Sillas,

You were sitting almost in front of me at the seminar “Horn of Africa. Fleeing war without a name and without an end”, held in Rome on June 24th at the ACLI national headquarters. You spoke and I patiently waited for longer than an hour for you to finish your speech.

I was only allowed five minutes, as agreed with the organizers. I had been up until dawn to write two pages that I would have read swiftly not to waste even a minute. Continue reading My Encounter with Fr. Mussie Zerai, Nobel Peace Prize Candidate (Open Letter)

Hundreds Dead, Missing as Migrant Boat Sinks off Italy

The Italian coastguard brings survivors of Thursday’s tragedy to the harbour in Lampedusa

By Reuters,

More than 300 people drowned or were feared dead after a boat packed with African migrants caught fire and sank off the southern Italian island of Lampedusa on Thursday, one of the worst disasters of Europe’s chronic immigration crisis.  Continue reading Hundreds Dead, Missing as Migrant Boat Sinks off Italy