Hundreds of migrants clash with Italian police in riot

Italian politicians have long demanded more help from the rest of the European Union to deal with the migrant crisis, which disproportionately affects the bloc's southernmost countries.

Hundreds of migrants clash with Italian police in riot

World Bulletin / News Desk

Up to 250 migrants being detained in the Italian capital Rome barricaded themselves inside their detention center on Thursday a week after a Tunisian detainee sewed his mouth shut in protest against their poor treatment.

La Repubblica reported that around a third of the 780 migrants held at the facility in Castelnuovo di Porto took part in the stand-off, which was dispersed by the police using a water hose. Protesters also threw rocks at the police.

Angiolo Marroni, from the regional prisoners' rights organization (Garante dei Diritti dei Detenuti del Lazio) told the newspaper, “centres of identification and expulsion continue to be real places of desperate detention, where the recognition of fundamental rights is fleeting.”

Interior Minister Angelino Alfano on Tuesday demanded more help after the Italian navy task force 'Mare Nostrum' rescued more than 200 migrants and recovered 17 bodies when the boat carrying them sank off the Libyan coast.

"The European Union has two options: either it comes to the Mediterranean to put the EU flag on Mare Nostrum or we will let migrants with right of asylum leave for other countries," Alfano wrote on messaging site Twitter.

Italian politicians have long demanded more help from the rest of the European Union to deal with the crisis, which disproportionately affects the bloc's southernmost countries.

They have called for a change to rules which oblige asylum seekers to remain in the country in which they first arrive.

Many migrants hope to travel onwards into northern European countries with stronger economies than Italy, which has grown little in a decade and where unemployment is near 40-year highs.

Well over 36,000 migrants have reached Italy in the first few months of this year, with the collapse of order in large parts of Libya leaving authorities struggling to combat the groups that control the illegal migrant traffic.

Güncelleme Tarihi: 16 Mayıs 2014, 16:44
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