meanwhile in lampedusa... (#2)

18.Feb.09 - This morning on Lampedusa, the southern-most island of Europe, a revolt started in the "Centre for identification and expulsion", following the hunger strike of 300 detainees from Tunisia. The detention center hosts more than 800 migrants, mostly from Tunisia. The fire destroyed most of the building and the police used teargas to fight the revolting migrants revolt

The mayor of the city Bernardino De Rubeis has released a declaration against the Italian government, quoting his own words: "Guilty is the Government which transformed this center in a Lager, the migrants are desperate." The revolt seems to have exploded when 107 Tunisian migrants were to be deported back to Tunesia.

the 'Centre for identification and expulsion' on fire

the 'Centre for identification and expulsion' on fire

migrants trapped inside the 'Centre for identification and expulsion'

migrants outside of the 'Centre for identification and expulsion'

the 'Centre for identification and expulsion' on fire

[Update 20.feb.09]: There is a lack of precise news, but up to 70 people may have been injuried in the riots and fire of the centre - 20 policemen and 50 immigrants. According to one resident, only 10 migrants, more seriusly injuried, have been seen in the poliambulatory, and no policemen. The rest of the  immigrants have been kept in the centre or transferred to other centres without anyone being able to see them or ascertain their condition.

The protes of the Tunisians transferred to other centres and threatened with deportation has continued in Milano, Rome and Torino, where they continuing the hunger strike and have done other acts of revolt like overturning the beds and the rubbish bins.  Other detainees join the protes and local activists have organised initiatives in support outiside the detention centres.

About 500 immigrants are believed to be still in the damaged centre, that before the fire had an operating capacity of 460, to be extended in emergency to 800. Around 1000 police and carabinieri are present on the island.

Photos: la