MOUSSA BALDE AND HIS FAMILY ARE NOT ALONE
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On October 14th, we will stand in front of the courthouse to say that Moussa and his family are not alone, that there was a racist attack in Ventimiglia, and that Moussa’s suicide is none other than a murder by the state.
On October 14th at 9 a.m., the first hearing will be held at the Imperia courthouse involving the three Italians who, on May 9th, 2021 in Ventimiglia attacked Moussa Balde with kicks, punches, plastic pipes and an iron rod.
The charge is injury aggravated by the use of blunt instruments. The Imperia police headquarters want to rule out racial hatred as an aggravating factor.
Transferred to Bordighera’s hospital for urgent medical attention, Moussa was released with a 10-day prognosis. Then, due to his illegal status on Italian national territory, only 24 hours after the attack he had been taken directly to the Cpr detention center in Turin, despite his concevable physical and psychological condition.
Immediately he was locked up in the Red area along with other detainees, shorlty thereafter moved to solitary confinement within the section called “Ospedaletto,” where already in 2019 another person, H.F., killed himself after being locked up there for five months. Even now, the reasons behind the arbitrary decision to move a person in
an already critical mental and physical condition to solitary confinement are unclear.
Moussa ended up in the CPR without ever having signed any testimony about his assault and without being asked any questions about the course of events.
He received no psychological examination but instead was locked up in Turin with stitches still on his face, and while his lawyer had been looking for him for several days, no one had been able to find him because Moussa was registered at the CPR under a different name from the one marked by the Imperia police.
His attackers were walking around free and he ended up in confinement. He could not have known that a part of Italy was taking action in solidarity to find and support him, nor that the video of his attack had gone viral on media and social networks. Inside the CPR no one is permitted to keep phones, so that one is completely cut off from what
happens outside, and cannot speak out about what happens inside.
Fellow detainees who began a protest as soon as they learned the news of his death reported that on the night of May 22nd, they heard him screaming for a long time and asking for a doctor’s intervention without ever receiving a response. On the morning of Sunday, May 23rd, 2021, he was found hung in his cell.
To date, the official cause of Moussa Balde’s death is suicide, although a manslaughter investigation is also underway.
Moussa’s death was neither a random ‘fatality’ nor the result of a chain of neglect, but the consequence of the structural racism of the system in which we live.
The hateful facts of this case show us how many levels of discrimination contributed to covering Moussa’s coffin:
firstly, the endless waits for a residence permit, timelines that had ushed him to survive on the margins of this society by which, with every effort, he tried to be accepted by following everything the reception system asked him to do, taking his middle school diploma, learning Italian, volunteering. After five years of bureaucratic wanderings and a failed attempt to try his luck again in France, he had ended up on the street with no more chance or plans, as it has happened to so many others.
Second, the group attack by three white men in broad daylight, in the city center and in front of the eyes of many passersby. After the harm came the mockery: instead of receiving the protections he should have had as a survivor of a lynching, he was immediately taken to the CPR not for what he had done, but for what he was: an illegal immigrant without the documents he had been denied despite his best efforts.
And lastly, the final blow of a racism that was ultimately fatal to him: because Moussa was just an immigrant in the face of three honorable Italian citizens who slaughtered him, he was driven to pay with his silence for that which he saw and suffered that afternoon of May 9th.
Why such a rush to remove Moussa from Ventimiglia when he was the first eye witness to the attack on himself? Why continue to deny for days his presence inside the center when it was repeatedly asked at the CPR if Moussa was there? Why force him into solitary confinement at his most vulnerable moment?
It’s these and many other questions that we are under no delusions that will ever be answered.
His attackers are alive and free, the CPR continues to grind lives, and Mamadou Moussa Balde is dead at the age of twenty-two.
AGAINST ALL RACISMS and for the free migration of everyone everywhere.
For the abolition and closure of all CPRs/retention centers/lagers.
SEE YOU ON OCTOBER 14th IN IMPERIA
Those In Solidarity from Ventimiglia