Roberto Maroni, the new Secretary General of Northern League Party has called for tough action against illegal immigration.
In his first speech after becoming the leader of his party, he said the fight against illegal immigration must be continued.
He criticized Integration Minister Andrea Riccardi’s soft stance and “solidarity” with immigrants.
Mr. Maroni said he would implement the controversial push-back policy right away, not seeing it as a violation of human rights.
Early this year European Court of Human Rights condemned Italy for intercepting at sea and sending back to Libya Somalian and Eritrean migrants who were trying to reach Italy. The same policy was implemented when Mr. Maroni was the Home Affairs Minister.
The Court ruled that by pushing migrants back to Libya, Italy violated the European Convention on Human Rights and in particular the “non-refoulement principle”, which prohibits returning migrants to countries where they may face persecution or inhuman or degrading treatment.
By sending the migrants back to Libya, they were exposed to the risk of ill-treatment in Libya and of repatriation to Somalia or Eritrea.
The Court ordered Italy to pay each applicant 15,000 Euros in respect of non-pecuniary damage and 1,575.74 Euros to the applicants jointly in respect of costs and expenses.