Human Rights Watch criticizes Italy asylum seeker deal with Albania News
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Human Rights Watch criticizes Italy asylum seeker deal with Albania

Human Rights Watch on Thursday slammed Italy’s deal to send asylum seekers to Albania, terming the pact a “model of mismanagement” and a “blueprint for abuse.”

The immigration deal was signed last November and seeks to send asylum seekers from Italy to Albania, where their Italian asylum requests would be considered. Under the five-year deal 36,000 asylum seekers would be sent from Italy to the Albanian port of Shengjin. Italy will facilitate the construction of a holding centre which will also serve as an asylum processing centre. Under the deal, Italy will fully control the centres in Albania and will be responsible for guaranteeing the security of all asylum seekers sent to Albania.

Italy, under the deal, will ship asylum seekers from countries that they have deemed safe to Albania. The list of safe countries currently stands at 22 including Cameroon, Morocco, Egypt, Kosovo, Colombia and Georgia.

Albania’s parliament approved the deal in late February, with opposition lawmakers boycotting the vote citing it being a national security hazard.

While touring the site Italy Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni described the scheme as a model to follow for other European nations. She further gave an update on the scheme’s progress, “The two centers in Albania will be operational from August 1st. We start with a thousand, then three thousand more.”