Protesting migrants sew mouths shut in Italy

2014-01-26 18:04
Migrants off the coast of Lampedusa. (AFP)

Migrants off the coast of Lampedusa. (AFP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

kalahari.com

Rome - Thirteen Moroccan migrants held in a reception centre in Rome for more than two months have sewed their mouths shut in protest at the length of their detention, police and campaigners said on Sunday.

Italy has struggled to absorb thousands of immigrants in recent years, many of them fleeing the civil war in Syria and travelling through North Africa to the Mediterranean island of Lampedusa on flimsy boats. More than 40 000 arrived last year.

The issue has become a political battleground. Rights groups have complained about the conditions in centres while the anti-immigration Northern League has attacked the government, saying it was being too generous to new arrivals, especially at a time of recession.

The thirteen, who arrived in October and were taken to the Ponte Galeria centre the following month, sewed their mouths shut on Saturday night, repeating a protest they staged at the end of last year, said police.

"They've been left in complete uncertainty, no-one has explained anything to them," said Gabriella Guido, spokesperson for LasciateCIEntrare, a protest group set up to highlight the tough conditions in the migrant reception centres.

Guido, who spoke to the men late on Saturday, said there was a tense climate in the centres, which were only designed for short stays. "They are under stress, angry and they've lost faith. This is the only form of protest they have."

"It's one thing if you have to put up with it for a month or so, it's very different when it's eight, nine months without any sign of when it's going to end," she added.

Their earlier demonstration coincided with a video released online showing migrants standing naked in the cold while they were sprayed for scabies.

Campaigners say most migrants want to go to other European countries but can find themselves stuck in limbo in Italy.

On Sunday, Northern League Senator Massimo Bitonci said the migrants were being treated over generously in comparison with Italians struggling in the recession.

"In a country where there are no resources you wonder what services the interior minister has had to cut to provide this benefit to the migrants," he said in a statement.

His groups has opposed moves by the coalition government of Prime Minister Enrico Letta to lift criminal penalties on people caught entering the country without authorisation.

Read more on:    italy

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
10 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
 

Zuma: Pray for peaceful polls

President Jacob Zuma has asked members of the Universal Church of the Kingdom of God to pray for peaceful elections on 7 May.

 
 

Latest elections multimedia

Why Jack Parow wants you to vote on 7 May
The ad the SABC doesn't want to air
Elections 2014 in one cartoon
This year's election posters
 
Traffic
Lottery
 
  • Friday Grabouw - 11:32 AM
    Road name: N2 Eastbound
    DELAYS between Sir Lowrys Pass and Grabouw
  • Friday Cape Town - 10:14 AM
    Road name: M3 Inbound
    EVENT - left lane closed between Rhodes Avenue and UCT
 
More traffic reports...
 

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Escape winter, head to Mauritius

Escape winter by spending 7 nights in Mauritius' tropical bliss from R13 215 per person sharing. Includes return flights, airport transfers and accommodation. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Get many eggs in one basket!

Gaming bundles: 2 Super Hits games for R99, 3 Disney games for R99 and more + exclusive accessory bundles only available on kalahari.com. While stocks last. Shop now!

25% off bestselling books!

The Real Meal Revolution by Tim Noakes, Jeffrey Archer’s Be Careful What You Wish for, Man’s Search for Meaning by Victor E. Frank and many more titles. Shop now!

Up to 25% off electronics

Buy top electronics and save up to 25%. Such as kalahari.com’s 1# selling product the gobii eReader, Patriot X Porter flash drive, Asus Nexus 7” 3G tablet, Samsung Galaxy SIII, Lenovo G580 Notebook and many more. Shop now!

DStv HD PVR Decoder now R949

The DStv HD PVR Decoder has further revolutionised the television experience with lifelike viewing, sharper images, more vibrant colours and precision picture quality. Now R949, save R550. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 30% off appliances & homeware

Save up to 30% on appliances and homeware this Easter! Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now.

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

BlackBerry Curve 9380

The first BlackBerry Curve smartphone with a touch screen Stay connected...

From R1799.00

I'm shopping for:

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

You may find yourself putting in that extra effort on looking good and making an impression. ...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.