15 October 2009

Stateless Croatian erased from the registers, Italy insists on deportation

According to the 2001 census, Croatia has a population of 4,437,460 inhabitants, 9,811 of whom are stateless. Yes, because after the signing of the Dayton Peace Accords in 1995 that put an end to the war which had broken out in 1991, many citizens of the dissolved Yugoslavia found themselves removed from the registers of the newly independent states. At that time, Boris had been living in Italy for some time. In Milan, he arrived in 1989, before the war, when he was a twenty-year-old citizen of Yugoslavia. The bitter surprise came in 2002.

There was the Bossi-Fini amnesty and after ten years of sacrifices Boris finally had the opportunity to officialise his status. But when he went to the Croatian Consulate in Milan, he was told that he did not have citizenship. There was just one birth certificate, in a small village near Spalato, but he did not come up as a citizen of Croatia on their records. Since then, Boris has been suspended in limbo. He is not Croatian, he is not Italian. He cannot be regularized because he has no identity documents. But he cannot be expelled because he is not a citizen of any State.

The court will decide on his case in Bari. The hearing will take place on 26 October. In fact, his lawyer petitioned the ordinary judge citing the Interior Ministry to obtain the recognition of his statelessness. The verdict, however, is far from clear. Indeed, weighing like a ton of bricks on the fate of Boris is a criminal record for drug dealing, for which he has already paid with six years in prison, from 2003 to last July, when at the end of sentence he was brought to the Centre Identification and Expulsion (CIE) in Milan. From there, after the uprising of 14 August in the CIE of via Corelli, he was transferred with about forty other inmates to Bari, where he is currently being detained.

By law, his is a body to expel. And if no state recognizes this body as theirs, it does not matter. He will wait a turn. Like a sadistic game of snakes and ladders. Six months of his life wasted behind bars. Having committed no crime. Victim of a map.


translated by Camilla Gamba