What is JLP?
The “Josi and Loni Project” is a collective with an ambitious aim: to stop deportations to Libya.
When we launched our idea on Twitter, we received many subscriptions. Some of us are writers, journalists, lawyers but we are mainly normal people who decided to act.
Josi and Loni are the names of a boy who died and a child who was born. They both stepped on an Italian ship that deported them to Libyan concentration camps.
Josi was a healthy boy when he stepped on that Italian ship. He was taken to Libya against his will and he was deported in a concentration camp belonging to the government of Al Serraj. That camp was already facing a TB epidemic. He got sick with tuberculosis. He died on the floor, after a long agony, without any assistance or cure.
Loni was in his mother’s tummy. Just a few hours of sailing, and he would have been born in an Italian hospital, in a safe and clean environment. But this is not the way it went. The Italian ship deported his mother and brought her to Libya. Loni was born a month later, on the floor of a concentration camp.
On that floor people are born and die. On that floor, today, you can find the people we are trying to help with our project.
Josi and Loni is a cultural project, but it is also very practical. The opposition to the deportations in Libya is put into facts through a series of actions:
1. The constant report of the consequences of those deportations.
We tell the stories and we talk about the pain of the people that Europe has deported by bringing them to Libyan concentration camps. We are in contact with about 300 refugees. They are mainly teenagers ranging between the age of 16 and 22. Some of them are younger, some others are older.
2. The search of the people deported by European ships and the aid in organizing class actions against States and sailing companies.
We have already found all the people who were deported on 2nd July 2018. We have got them in touch with the lawyers from the Italian NGO ASGI, who have followed their cases pro-bono.
3. The monitoring of the European cargo ships in the Mediterranean.
The world has discovered the deportation occurred on 30th July just because on that day, in the sea, the Open Arms vessel was on the radio listening. We have discovered the deportation occurred on 2nd July by talking to the victims. There could be other deportations, still unknown. We are always on the lookout, keeping our eyes and ears wide opem. We have already begun our monitoring.
The Libyan deportation system and the words to describe it
The European Court of Human Rights, with the judgement regarding the case of Hirsi Jamaa and others v. Italy, has made it clear to the world: a vessel flying the UE flag CANNOT deport people in Libya.
Italy has already been condemned once, and the European Court of Justice has reaffirmed it in May 2019. Nevertheless, Italy seems not to listen. Amongst other things, it continues to gift patrol vessels to the Libyan government of Al Serraj and to train its so-called Coast Guard. This appears to us as a not-so-hidden system to bypass European laws.
Consequently, we claim the use of the verb “to deport” to talk about these illegal actions being carried out by Italy and other European States.