Human rights organisations have strongly condemned the EU’s plan to launch a massive EU-wide police operation called “MOS MAIORUM” to hunt irregular immigrants from 13th to 26th October 2014.
The operation, which was approved by the Council of the European Union on 10th July 2014, will be implemented in the framework of the Italian Presidency of the Council of the European Union.
According to the Council of the European Union, the “MOS MAIORUM” operation will be “aiming at weakening the capacity of organized crime groups to facilitate illegal immigration to the EU and will be focusing on illegal border crossing.”
It will also be used “to collect information for intelligence and investigation purposes, regarding the main routes followed by migrants to enter in the common area and the modus operandi used by crime networks to smuggle people towards the EU territory, focusing also on the secondary movements.”
COSPE (Co-operation for the Development of Emerging Countries), an Italian non-profit association condemned the operation “MOS MAIORUM” and asked the Italian government not to prosecute the people rescued from drowning by the Mare-Nostrum operation.
It further urged the Italian government to avoid participating in this “inhumane and unnecessary” operation.
In a joint statement, organizations of Filipino migrants and advocates for migrants rights across Europe said they were concerned that “MOS MAIORUM” operation would be “used to indiscriminately round up irregular migrants who are merely doing socially necessary work that benefits the countries in Europe. “
They accused the “erroneous policies stemming from xenophobia and narrow nationalism instigated by extreme right-wing and neo-fascist political parties,” of forcing many to become irregular immigrants.
“Instead of deporting them and treating them as criminals, their irregular status should in fact be immediately rectified because it makes them vulnerable to abuse,” the organisations said.
In order to avoid arrest and deportation, human rights organisations are advising irregular immigrants to keep a low profile from 13th to 26th October 2014. They are advised to avoid places mainly frequented by immigrants. They are also advised to avoid places such as airports, highways, railway stations, subway stations, etc.
By Stephen Ogongo Ongong’a