Mass Migrant Breakout! – Italy

Some 700 immigrants broke through the gates of the centre where they were being held on the Italian island of Lampedusa, and started demonstrating in the city streets, the mayor said.

Out of about 1,300 people in the immigration prison, “about 700 immigrants in total fled this morning. It is a very tense situation,” said Lampedusa mayor, Bernardino De Rubeis.

Italy’s interior ministry put the number involved at only around 100.

“Some 100 illegal immigrants left the centre to protest, (then) returned there,” it said in a statement.

The migrants, who far outnumbered police, marched through the streets toward city hall shouting “Freedom, help us!”

Some residents also took part in the march while others applauded, a report by the ANSA news agency said.

Racist Scumbag Berlusconi told ANSA: “Everything is under control, not least because I do not see where these migrants could go.

“What’s more, the sea is rough and so their only option is to stay here,” he added.

The migrants, mostly from Africa, were protesting against the establishment of a new Centre for Identification and Expulsion (CEI) since Friday, which will enable quick repatriations of those migrants without proper documentation.

They also denounced conditions at the centre which has a capacity of only 850. Until the transfer on Friday of around 300 people, there were around 1,600 people being held there.

On Friday around half the island’s residents also protested against the new immigration centre.

The office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees on Friday expressed “mounting concern” over conditions at the existing centre.

“The centre has a capacity for only 850 people and hence cannot accommodate such high numbers,” the UNHCR said in a statement.

“The result is that hundreds of people are now sleeping outdoors under plastic sheeting and adequate reception standards cannot be maintained.”

The government says the new centre will help identify illegal immigrants and speed up their deportation.

Interior Minister Roberto Maroni announced last month that immigrants would be sent straight back to their country of origin instead of being transferred to other centres on the Italian mainland, as had been the practice.

The ministry has said 150 people have been returned to their country of origin since January 1.

Lampedusa is Italy’s southernmost island and the main arrival point for migrants coming from Africa.

The current influx began in 1996 and has steadily increased over the past two years.

Although migrants usually try to make the crossing during the spring and summer months, more and more have started to risk dangerous winter crossings.

There are no official figures for the number of people killed trying to make it to Euroepan soil but the Italian charity Fortress says at least 1,502 people died in 2008.

The interior ministry estimates that 31,700 immigrants landed on Lampedusa in 2008, a 75 percent increase on the previous year.

According to UNHCR, preliminary figures for 2008 showed that about 75 percent of those who arrived in Italy by sea last year applied for asylum.

Around 50 percent of those who applied were granted refugee status or other protection on other humanitarian grounds, it added.

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1 Response to Mass Migrant Breakout! – Italy

  1. bristolnoborders says:

    Hundreds of migrants Cpa of Lampedusa this morning have forced the gates and left the facility. So did they go in procession to the town hall and asked loudly ‘Help’ and ‘Freedom’. The Viminale stated that this was not an escape since the center is no obligation to stay.

    After the event, the situation has slowly begun to normal with the return of migrants in Cpa. Of the 1300 migrant guests, sources of stress all’ADNKRONOS Viminale, 650 are those leaving the facility. Of these 13 to 500 were those who had returned. ” Only about 150 people, therefore, are still outside the perimeter of Cpa of Lampedusa.

    The Ministry of Interior has stated that”there was no leak”and that”the Center for Hospitality First, unlike the Center for Identification and Expulsion, no obligation to stay. That is why the police did not intervene, limiting itself to ensure that there were no clashes and violence”. The Viminale meanwhile continues to work on agreements with the countries of origin to continue to make returns from within a few weeks.

    Continues, then, the citizens protested against the construction of the new Center for expulsion. A delegation handed over certificates to the town hall elections. The islanders fear that the structure, announced by Interior Minister Roberto Maroni to “turn into a prison.”

    Premier Silvio Berlusconi has reassured the population of the largest of the Pelagie. “The situation is highly contingent, under control, the people of Lampedusa are okay,” he said Arzachena. “We will do things to compensate,” said the chairman of the Council stressed that “Maroni will meet Tuesday in Tunis, the President Ben Ali to agree on how to bring 1200 in Tunisia.”

    As for Raffaele Lombardo, president of the Sicilian Region,”the state of health and social tension that exists in Lampedusa has become a national emergency”. ”We need a comprehensive and decisive intervention by the national government, in agreement with the regional and municipal authorities”.
    Google translation of italian imc article

    The Prosecutor of the Republic of Agrigento has opened an investigation into the mass escape from Cpa. You’re still checking what is the possibility of crime.

    Because of the situation that occurred this morning, then, the airport of Lampedusa has remained closed for over an hour. Confirmation all’ADNKRONOS is the official call that is following the story. “We had to close the airport – he said – for more than an hour because they feared that after the flight of immigrants from Cpa there would be an invasion of the track. Fortunately, everything is solved well.”

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