Italian pro-migrant MP suspended over migrant mistreatment probe

Italian pro-migrant MP suspended over migrant mistreatment probe |

Italian pro-migrant lawmaker Aboubakar Soumahoro suspended himself from his parliamentary group, the Green and Left Alliance, due to ongoing investigations against his wife and mother-in-law for tax evasion and mistreatment of migrants.

The investigations target the cooperatives of Soumahoro’s wife and mother-in-law, saying they allegedly hired based on irregular contracts, failed to pay employees, evaded taxes, and made migrants housed in publicly funded facilities live in precarious conditions.

“With the utmost freedom, Aboubakar Soumahoro has informed us of his decision to suspend himself from the Alleanza Verdi Sinistra parliamentary group”, announced Angelo Bonelli, Nicola Fratoianni and Luana Zanella, representatives of Europa Verde, Sinistra Italiana and Avs parties.

“We respect this choice (…) even though it is not due”, they added, after having asked the Ivory Coast-born MP and former trade unionist for clarification as soon as the scandal broke out, for which Bonelli said he was “upset”.

The Karibu and Consorzio Aid cooperatives deal with ‘reception and integration services on the territory of asylum seekers, political refugees and immigrants as part of the Sprar (Protection System for Asylum Seekers and Refugees) widespread reception project.

Investigations followed reports from about thirty former guests of the facilities managed by the cooperatives, including minors, made to the press and the relevant union. The former guests cited “unacceptable living conditions” due to poor hygiene, lack of electricity, clothes, food, water and no ‘pocket money’ that should have amounted to €10 a day.

Karibu and Consorzio Aid said they were waiting for payments from the local authorities.

Italian public has not reacted lightly to the allegation levelled against the cooperatives, particularly as his wife has long been flaunting her lavish lifestyle on social media.

Soumahoro himself posted a Facebook video to address the controversy.

“My life has been characterised by the struggle against all forms of exploitation. You want me dead. I have always fought,” he said in the video.

Soumahoro also showed up on the first day of work at the Chamber of Deputies wearing muddy boots, “a symbol of the suffering and hopes of the real country that enters the Chamber with me to legislate – in memory of those who have died at work, those who are discriminated against and those who are hungry”, he said.

(Federica Pascale |


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