Kidnapping and Attempted Deportation of Anarchist Divine Umoru in Italy

Published July 23, 2019


On July 15, 2019, police kidnapped anarchist comrade Divine Umoru and notified him of an unexpected ad personam expulsion order, signed directly by the Minister Matteo Salvini, which could lead to his deporation to Nigeria.

The following is a statement by Comrades of Divine.

Yesterday, July 15, 2019, we received the news of the deportation, now in progress, of Divine Umoru, made possible by an order issued directly by Salvini, despite having the documents in order. He is an anarchist comrade who has undergone several trials; we know him and we want to be in solidarity.

Updates about Divine:

The Ministry of the Interior does not leave the grip and, not being able to disregard the judgment of the Cedu (“ECHR”), encloses Divine in the CPR [prison for migrant and people without papers] of Bari, where they send those who rebel in the other CPR. A punitive CPR. We repeat to magistrates and police that we will not give up until Divine is free. Fire to CPR, free them all!

Saturday, July 20th – Protest at the CPR of Bari:

On Monday, July 15, at around 13.00 the police showed up at the home of Divine to take him to the police station, where he was notified of an unexpected ad personam expulsion order, signed directly by the Minister Matteo Salvini.

Despite the fact that the comrade had lived in Italy for twenty years and had all the papers necessary for his stay, the judge validated the expulsion measure by appealing to various complaints, including the purpose of terrorism from which Divine had been acquitted years ago. He was then given, at the lawyer’s request, an hour to take clothes and a telephone, which was seized from him, and was loaded onto a car headed for Milan Malpensa airport, where he was held in administrative regime at the offices of the Border Police pending the execution of the expulsion, enforceable from 6:53 pm on Monday (time of the end of the hearing) and to be carried out within the following 48 hours.

The call was immediately heard between comrades and friends, and about sixty people went to Malpensa in the afternoon of Tuesday, July 16th, where at 7:10 pm an Air Italy plane bound for Lagos (Nigeria) was due to starting with Divine aboard. The present sympathizers moved in small marches inside the airport with a banner and megaphone, always obviously followed by a huge concentration of financiers, police and carabinieri, informing all of the mess that was about to take place and, in some cases, blocking the boarding gate. Meanwhile, lawyers have prepared a series of appeals, including one in particular addressed to the ECHR (“European Court of Human Rights”), to suspend the ministerial order, vitiated by various irregularities including the fact that Divine was acquitted from the crimes on which the expulsion order is based. The ECHR has in fact considered the situation of Divine urgent and has accepted the appeal suspending its expulsion, but it is at this point that the sneaky game of the Ministry of the Interior has entered the scene: despite Strasbourg accepting the appeal of the lawyers through an executive suspension of sentence, the authorities present at the airport for a whole day refused to give guarantees regarding the deportation of Divine and his release. The prosecutor’s offices of Bologna and Milan, the Malpensa police and the Ministry of the Interior refused to tell the lawyers where the comrade was. Only in the late evening came the news that Divine had not been repatriated; this was the only news we received.

But it doesn’t end here: on the morning of July 17th, Divine manages to find ways to contact some comrades, telling that he was transferred the previous evening to the CPR of Bari, informed of the suspension of his deportation just shortly before the transfer. A few hours later we are informed that Divine is in an audience with an official lawyer – regarding the maintenance of the detention status in the Bari cage – to which, however, the comrade categorically refuses to be present, requesting to be defended by his own lawyers. The judge accepted the postponement and the hearing was therefore postponed to Friday July 19th, at 9 am, the day on which his lawyers will be present.

We know Divine, his strength, his courage, his determination and we know that he will not be bent by this latest abuse; we know that his morale is quite high. It’s no coincidence that he was sent to the CPR of Bari, one of the worst prisons in Italy, if not the worst, known for the violation of human rights, segregation and harassing tortures that make a highly punitive structure for everyone, from which rebel migrants are often deported.

In these days, the solidarity of the comrades of various cities has been strong and timely and has made clear to cops and magistrates that Divine is not alone and that their dirty maneuvers at least in this case will not pass over in silence. Now it is important that our voice rises even more against the walls of that fucking cage, for Divine and for all those who, every day, surrounded by the cowardly silence and indifference of the people, are deprived of their freedom because they are poor, undesirable, guilty of having crossed an imaginary line called the border. For all, this Saturday afternoon at 5:00 pm we will be in Bari with a protest in front of the CPR; we ask everyone, friends and comrades in solidarity to come in large numbers.

Let the Minister and his court know that wherever they will transfer him to remove him from solidarity we will be there, and we will also be in our cities, in the streets or in any place we want to claim the immediate release of our comrade.

Even when we can embrace him again, we will not stop coming back under those walls, in front of those bars identical to those of other infamous cages scattered throughout the Fortress Europe, to carry on with every possible means the struggle against the system that made them and makes them possible every day.




For updates, we would like to remind you that on Friday morning there will be a hearing that will decide on his detention at Bari CPR and even if Divine is released the protest in front of the CPR will take place anyway.

Comrades of Divine