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Terrorism: Mgr. Antoniazzi (Tunisia), “fears over risk of indoctrination in prisons”

“Foreign fighters are not released from prison as easily as other inmates, but the question is: do they leave prison as better individuals or being more indoctrinated than before? Just look at how many have been radicalised in prison in Europe”. Commenting on the arrest in Italy of the Marseille attacker’s brother, a Tunisian national, Mgr. Ilario Antoniazzi, Archbishop of Tunis, told SIR news agency about the recent decision by the president of Tunisia to grant “pardon” to those who had served a sentence for theft or drug offences “releasing them from prison”. “We wonder whether these people are still here or have left for Italy – he said -. It is people who have already served their sentences. But we wonder in which conditions they have come out of prison”. After the closure of the Libyan border following agreements between Italy and Libya, the Church of Tunisia, who is monitoring the situation, has witnessed an increase in the number of migrants from Libya and the reopening of the “Tunisian Route”: “We look with apprehension at what is going on. Of course, many more will come. We do not know whether it is just the beginning or a temporary phenomenon, but we are on the alert”. In Tunisia, the small Catholic community is mainly composed of sub-Saharan Africans. “There are still people who come and ask for a blessing before starting the journey”, the Archbishop said. But “rather than building migrant camps in Libya”, it would be better, in his opinion, to promote a “great campaign to make clear that Europe is no longer a paradise on earth and that attempting the journey is a great risk”. “In many African countries – Mgr. Antoniazzi concluded – there is a lot of ignorance in the matter, they do not know what happens once they arrive in Europe. They think there is work, yet the reality is very different. Many sell houses and lands in order to leave and once they have left, they do not return because it is a humiliation. They prefer risking their lives rather than coming back and being seen as people who have been defeated and humiliated”.

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