Saturday, November 14, 2009

'Soweto' in Rome

Ponte Mammolo is a mostly Eritrean shantytown in the center of Rome. SF Bay View has the details, including a short youtube clip.

Check out this horrific detail: in order to avoid detection and deportation if they are arrested, these immigrants often try to remove their fingerprints so they cannot be identified:
There are three ways commonly used to remove fingerprints. Refugees burn their own fingerprints and palm prints with a lit cigarette. This painstaking and slow process can take several hours. It leaves their fingers and hands in constant pain and unusable. Soon blisters appear and infection can spread.

Another method used by many refugees is to place their hands directly over a gas, charcoal or electric stove or immerse them in scalding water to remove their fingerprints and palm prints. This is no less painful than using a lit cigarette.

The third process requires rub sandpaper against their skin. It may seem comparatively less painful, but not so. Two or three days of rubbing their fingers and palms with sand paper to entirely remove the top skin leaves their hands raw and bloody.

1 comment:

Dominic said...

I can say 'Ouch' a hundred times and I still couldn't understand that pain.
There has to be a way to help these guys?
Isn't the church giving them counselling or social justice groups? Where are the good citizens of Rome?