To the leader of the Great Socialist People’s Libyan Popular Jamahiriya
(For the attention of representatives of the Italian government and the European Union)
Dear Muammar al-Gaddafi,
we are not and do not seek to be part of the 700 women that you have asked to meet on 12 June during your visit to Italy. In fact, we are women from Italy and from various other European and African countries who are extremely concerned and shocked by the policies that your country, with the complicity of Italy and the European Union, is enacting with regards to women and men of African origins and from elsewhere who are currently in Libya, with the intention of either staying there to work or to simply transit through it to reach Europe. We are aware of the continuous round-ups, deportations of women and men towards your country’s southern borders using armoured containers, violence, the “sale” of men and women to traffickers, and the complicity of your police force in allowing or preventing the transit of migrant men and women. But, most of all, we are aware of the countless concentration camps, sometimes involving forced labour, some of them funded by Italy, in which men and women suffer all sorts of violence for months, and sometimes even for years, before being subjected to deportation or being released. Some of us have known these camps and, once we have arrived in Italy, we have provided testimonies about them.
Among all the words and accounts that we have used on several occasions, both institutional and non-institutional, or among all of the words and accounts that we have heard, we have chosen those that also you, like the 700 women who you will meet, will be able to read or listen to. Fatawhit, Eritrea: “The transfer from one prison to the next took place in a minibus in which 90 people were crammed. The journey lasted three days and three nights, there were no windows and we had nothing to drink. I saw women drinking their husband’s urine because they were dying of dehydration. I have seen people die in Misratah. In Kufrah, living conditions were very hard (…) I have seen many women raped, the police officers would enter the room, take a woman and rape her as a group in front of everyone. They did not make any distinction between married women and single ones. Many of them were made pregnant and many were made to have abortions, carried out clandestinely, thus placing their lives in serious danger. I have seen many women cry because their men were beaten, but this did not serve to stop the truncheon blows on their backs. (…) The only way to leave the Libyan prisons is to pay.” (http://www.storiemigranti.org/spip....). Saberen, Eritrea: “Once I tried to defend my brother from the truncheon blows and they beat me as well, slashing my face. One of the practices used in this prison is that of truncheon blows on the sole of one’s feet, a point that is particularly sensitive to pain. I had to pay 500 dollars to get out.” (http://www.storiemigranti.org/spip....). Tifirke, Etiopia: “We were beaten and abused, it is like this for all the women”. (From the film, “Come un uomo sulla terra”).
We are also aware that you and your country are not the only parties responsible for these policies, in view of the fact that the agreements that you have signed with the Italian government envisage substantial funding by Italy in order for them to continue to be implemented and become even harsher in the coming months and years, so as to prevent the arrival of migrants on the Italian coasts. Moreover, it is also true that through its leading officials, the European Union has repeatedly expressed its support for an increase in cooperation with your country for the purpose of stopping migrations towards Europe. We point out, firstly to you, but also for the attention of the representatives of the Italian government, the female ministers and representatives of the Italian people that you will meet on this occasion, as well as European Union representatives, a further matter of which we are conscious: namely, that membership of the human community, which is made up of women and men from different parts of the world, means sharing the conditions enabling its existence. Among these, the first and fundamental one is that every woman, every man and every child must be considered a human being and, as such, respected. For as long as this condition will not be deemed relevant, neither by you nor by Italian and European authorities, we will continue to oppose and to struggle against Italian, Libyan and European Union policies that constantly violate the principles that are the basis for its existence and hence, until that point, we will have no wish to meet you, because we deem that you are one of the leading people who are directly responsible for the inhumane practices to which a part of humanity is subjected.
Federica Sossi, Alessandra Sciurba, Isabelle Saint-Saens, Glenda Garelli, Anna Simone, Floriana Lipparini, Cristina Papa, Enrica Rigo, Maria Vittoria Tessitore, Barbara Bee, Maddalena Bonelli, Chiara Gattullo, Elisa Coco, Gabriella Ghermandi, Elisabetta Lepore, Barbara D’Ippolito, Paola Meneganti, Anna Maria Rivera, Judith Revel, Vanessa Giannotti, Enza Panebianco, Angela Pallone, Di Lauro Gabriella, Sara Prestianni, Valentina Maddalena, Maria Iorio, Annalisa Caffa, M.Cristina Di Canio, Barbara Romagnoli, Alessia Montuori, Nicoletta Poidimani, Pia Covre, Letizia Del Bubba, Cristina Romieri, Maria Antonietta Ponchia, Valentina Mora, Gabriella Orlando, Cristina Sebastiani, Dorinda Moreno, Alessandra Ballerini, Ilaria Scovazzi, Liliana Ellena, Vincenza Perilli, Lucia Conte, Gloria Battistin, Silvia Silvestri, Teresa Modafferi, Sara Voltolina, Patrizia Grazioli, Aurora D’Agostino, Beatrice Barzaghi, Anna Milani, Elide Insacco, Sara Chiodaroli, Ester Incerti, Anita Pirovano, Maria Rosaria Baldin, Agela Azzaro, Igiaba Scego, Margherita Hack, Irene Delfino, Cinzia Filoni, Nausicaa Guerini, Laura Fiorillo, Maria La Salandra, Elisabetta Degli Esposti Merli, Cinzia Pian, Cecilia Bartoli, Agnese Pignataro, Vilma Mazza, Isabella Bortoletto, donneinmovimento, Cristina Ali Farah, Roberta Sangiorgi, Chiara Sartori, Lea Melandri, Valentina Paganesi, Deborah Voltolina, Simona Scozzari, Valentina Antoniol, Gaia Alberti, Milena Zappon, Erika Russo, Miriam Ferrari, Tiziana Bartolotta, Sofia Gonoury, Cristina Sansa, Cristina Lombardi-Diop, Rosi Castellese, Elena Gimelli, Marcela Quilici, Rosa Mordenti, Gabriella Carlino, Elisa Cappello, Laura Liberto, Steny Giliberto, Daniela Stanco, Emanuela Ambrosino, Raffaella Vidale, Lella Di Marco, Alessandra Durante, Maria Luisa Lunghi, Rosa Rivelli, Sara Honegger, Adriana Saja, Maria Rosaria Iarussi, Cecilia Massara, Gloria Pasquali, Elisa Renda, Alessia Busacca, Silvia Cristofori, Marina Tutino, Ombretta Moschella, Francesca Biason, Luisa Doplicher, Silvia Baraldini, Meraf Dagna, Maria Luisa Chiavari, Brahan A., Annalisa Romani, Carolina Lami, Lidia Menapace, Plateroti Angela, Giovanna Silva, Luisa Longhi, Maria Luisa Lunghi, Maria Fiano, Francesca Marchetta, Federica Giampedrone, Diana Catellani, Silvia Di Fazio, Cinzia Rossello, Giulia Rellini, Daniela Fringuelli, Anna Brambilla, Carola Susani, Lia Didero, Graziella Isella, Marta Cerboneschi, Adele Del Guercio, Laura Sponti, Marzia Coronati, Rossella Marchini, Elisabetta Cammelli, Giorgia Serughetti, Laura Giacomello, Giuliana Candia, Federica Dolente, Pretty Gorza, Paola Luzzi, Fadila, Angela Rigoli, Anita Benedetti, Gabriella Giambertone, Claudia Canè, Giuppa Cassarà, Antonia Cassarà, Antonia Sani, Z. Kadkani, Manuela Troiani, Emiliana Cordone, Anna Aita, Suzi Koh, Stefania Sposito, Annalisa Oboe, Carla Grementieri, Lorena Nicardi, Rita Lavaggi, Lucia Berardi, Tatjana Tomicic, Franca Antoni Mariani, Ionne Guerrini, Antonella Moscati, Elena Ramacciotti, Cécile Kyenge Kashetu, Annamaria Frigerio, Marija Ivanović, Giulia Gandini, Maria grazia Bertazzo, Camilla Pin, Valeria Montagnana, Isabella Menegazzo, Pina Piccolo, Fabiola Schneider Graziosi, Marianita De Ambrogio, Serena Romano, Marina Veronesi, Giovanna Gismondi, Alice Grecchi, Sabrina Pallaro, Candelaria Romero, Giulia Gezzi, Serena Cannizzaro, Monia Giacomini, Gina Abbate, Paola Quaja, Daniela Debianchi, Alice Tafuri, Barbara Sorgoni, Maria Luisa Petrelli, Imma Barbarossa, Vittoria Pagliuca, Alessandra Gribaldo, Luana Redalié, Michela Giovannini, Luisa Acerbi, Monja Da Riva, Clotilde Barbarulli, Pasqua de Candia, Fabiana Terenzi, Daniela Scarcella, Ambra Gasparetto, Annabel Price Bedini, Antonella Zarantonello, Gianna Urizio, Chiara Palmisani, Federica Pennelli, Elena Fait, Francesca Decimo, Pamela Iamundo, Elvira Sessa, Elisabetta De Persio, Caterina Disco, Tania Poguisch, Enrica Galliano, Laura Locci, Liliana Cereda, Ilaria Fulvio, Roberta Ronchi, Alice Colombo, Rita Corneli, Sara Pozzi, Francesca Anzelmo, Maria Cristina Visioli, Valeria Pezzi, Maria Cristina Scalabrini, Giovanna Li Perni, Cristina Demaria, Sandra Ceccacci, Lucia Sorbera, Milva Pistoni, Claudia Pedretti, Titti Cimmino, Roberta Turri, Francesca Corsini, Anita Pignataro, Simonetta Scarlatti, Antonella Cascio, Carla Cimino, Marta Piergiovanni, Marzia Casolari, Marta Cappello, Pina Caporaso, Normanna Albertini, Maria Luisa Liliana Landriscina, Giuliana Campora, Gaia Giani, Melina Caudo, Paola Nunzi, Fiorella Cerami, Paola Strippoli, Francesca Contarello, Nora Haydeè Rodriguez, Alisa Del Re, Mila Lazic, Sara Sossi, Lea Sophie Lazic Reuschel, Antonella Lattanzi, Chiara Polcaro, Veronica Padoan, Laura Schettino, Federica Govoni, Paola Podda, Anna Masanello, Elena Fiorino, Savina Caprigno, Anna Favalli, Kora, Emanuela Gorelli, Tiziana Rosatelli, Luciana Roma, Antonella Salvatore, Giuliana Ortolan, Giuseppina Buscaino, Raffaella Chiarin, Chiara Rainaldi, Sara Crescimone, Clara Sereni, Michelle Brugnatti, Cristina Benfenati, Carla Ghezzi, Melissa Vassalli, Biana Maria Altomare, Francesca Moccagatta, Maria Coletti, Anna Di Sapio, Elisabetta Calamelli, Paola Lagamba, Collettivo femminista Pachamama, Marina Proto, Matilde Paino, Rossella Fasolato, Ornella Campitelli, Patrizia Salerno, Luciana Capretti, Leila Oppo, Susanna Mattacchioni, Serena De Santis, Germana Monaldi, Aurelia Gennaccari, Mariapia Passigli, Elettra Deiana, Ottovia Carbonara, Vivian Celestino, Doriana Goracci, Antonella Panetta, Irene Giacobbe, Gisella Tincas, Francesca Ferri, Monica Pepe, Alice Sorgia, Marina Campanale, Gemma Ciccone, Caterina Basile, Maria Antonietta Monaco, Rita Maglietta, Rosella Manganella, Barbara Mella, Guia Risari, Alessanndra Boga, Cristina Franzoni, Iva Testa, Romana Gardani, Veruska Barbini, Viviana Ceccotti, Patrizia Angelotti, Michela Castello, Christiane Krzyzyk, Elisabetta Bergamini, Elisa Luchetti, Simonetta Dessi, Cecilia Clementini, Stefania Vulterini, Ornella Berniet, Marina Proietti, Antonella De Nisco, Elena Lattes, Elsa Geraud, Sandra de Santis, Micol Anticoli, Marida Leuzzi, Cristina Troiani, Ornella Nicolosi, Erica Squarotti, Novella Ricciuti, Edda Billi, Lydia Brasca, Tania Castoro, Maria Marchese, Maria Grazia Simmini, Anna Pandolfini, Selena Nobile, Rossella Favero, Anna Falcone, Giuliana Benvenuti, Mariagrazia Rossilli, Cinzia Abramo, Nicole Torrente, Gabriella Nocentini, Lucia Salemi, Maria Polizzotto, Daniela Venturini, Letizia Paolozzi, Celine Warnier de Wailly, Claudia Signoretti, Maria Adorni, Letizia Aprile, Simonetta Dessi, Deborah Fait, Elisabetta Merico, Viviana Esposito, Elisabetta Pistorio, Grazia Gaspari, Simonetta Cormaci, Gabriella Napoli, Michela Robba, Rita Pannuzzo, Associazione Centrodonna Evelina De Magistris, Andrea Kehrer, Cristina Carpinelli, Patrizia Cecconi, Anita Fisicaro, Erika Gallo,
(to express individual support, contact email@example.com )