Italian authorities are investigating the dying of a 15-year previous boy from Ivory Coast who spent days on a “quarantine vessel” the place migrants are being confined as a measure to stop the unfold of the coronavirus.
The boy, Abou Diakite, died Monday at a hospital in Palermo, within the north of Sicily, after being evacuated from the Allegra, a cruise ship utilized by Italian authorities to quarantine migrants arriving this 12 months. The reason for dying has but to be decided.
“We’ll see what the post-mortem reveals, however it’s painful that this younger boy died right here alone, whereas he was in search of hope of a greater life,” mentioned Michele Calantropo, a human rights advocate and lawyer for Abou’s guardian.
A ship carrying Abou and fellow migrants was rescued off the coast of Libya on Sept. 10 by the nonprofit group Proactiva Open Arms. Many migrants from sub-Saharan Africa who hope to achieve Europe should cross by Libya, the place militias management the cross-Mediterranean smuggling routes.
Abou confirmed signs of “sturdy malnutrition, frequent to nearly all of folks on the boat,” Open Arms mentioned in an announcement.
“All of them arrive in horrible circumstances after going by horrendous tortures in Libya,” Mr. Calantropo mentioned. “The pandemic solely exacerbated that.”
Alessandra Puccio, Mr. Diakite’s authorized guardian, assigned by the authorities from an inventory of volunteers, mentioned the quarantine ship had house to isolate migrants, however little capability for testing.
“I’m ready to listen to from prosecutors whether or not these ships have sufficient medical doctors and medical employees, as a result of they host a whole bunch of individuals,” she mentioned.
Italy started placing migrants on board the vessels this summer season after issues emerged, usually pushed by far-right politicians, that they have been spreading the coronavirus. Information exhibits, nonetheless, that a lot of the instances within the second wave of infections in Italy originated both in neighboring European nations or domestically.
Per week after Abou’s rescue, when he and migrants accompanying him have been nonetheless on the Open Arms vessel, he began having a temperature and decrease again ache, and the medical employees gave him antibiotics.
The employees additionally found marks on his physique that might have been the results of torture, the help group mentioned. He informed the medical employees by a pal performing as an interpreter that they have been previous wounds from childhood. An ultrasound carried out on the boat didn’t present any “evident downside,” Open Arms mentioned. He examined unfavorable for Covid-19 twice.
The next day, he was transferred to the quarantine ship, and his medical file was handed over to the Crimson Cross physician aboard the Allegra. Abou might stroll by himself and was capable of talk.
It was solely in late September, nearly on the finish of his quarantine, that he fell sick once more and was rapidly transported to the hospital in Palermo.
“We’re deeply saddened by Abou’s dying and await to grasp why it occurred,” Open Arms said on its website. “The those who we rescue are all in precarious well being circumstances and went by violence and abuse.”
The group known as on the authorities to permit the migrants to disembark in “a protected port as quickly as doable and spend the quarantine in enough services.”
An inspection of the Italian cruise ships internet hosting migrants, performed by a government-funded group, has discovered onboard dwelling circumstances to be enough.
“Migrants have a cabin every and those that check constructive are hosted on a separate deck from the others, and that’s already outstanding contemplating the crowded facilities on the mainland,” mentioned Mauro Palma, president of the group, the Nationwide Guarantor for the Rights of Individuals Detained or Disadvantaged of Liberty. He added that he had not examined Abou’s medical information and couldn’t communicate particularly about his case.
Mr. Palma, whose group is tasked with conducting unbiased assessments of the dwelling circumstances, mentioned that he met certified Crimson Cross personnel and that migrants reported being handled properly.
“Culturally, we have a tendency to look at these folks’s circumstances superficially, we underestimate their journey, the lives they needed to reside earlier than and what being held prisoner in Libya means,” he mentioned. “And that horrible previous can cover any type of sickness.”