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Migrants Escape from Detention Centre

NoBorders! | 30.07.2007 23:06 | Anti-racism | Migration | Social Struggles | World

Some inspiring news....Last night a revolt in a detention centre in Bari led to at least 35 migrants escaping, mainly of Egyptian nationality.

Here are two links (in italian) to (a) La Repubblica, a centre-left daily, and (b) Global Project, the website of the ex-disobbedienti (although this is taken straight from the state RAI tv news release).

It will now be interesting to see the political response - the President of the Puglia Region (where Bari is) is from Rifondazione Comunista and has in the past called for the closure of detention centres.

Here's a quick translation of the press release on La Repubblica website:

"Following disturbances between illegal migrants and police in the new detention centre in Bari, 36 migrants managed to escape, but 4 were seriously injured as they tried to scale the perimeter wall. Eight carabinieri and one civilian employed at the centre were injured trying to prevent people from escaping. The 36 fugitives and the 4 migrants arrested for causing bodily harm were all of Egyptian origin [note: the other press release speaks of various nationalities]. The escape took place following a week of tensions which resulted in another 7 migrants escaping from the same reception centre [sic; the liberal press in Italy is as confused as ours] and a revolt of about 80 migrants that was eventually quelled by the intervention of the police.

The Egyptians had arrived at the detention centre in Bari a few days ago, transferred from Lampedusa [note: the Italian island between Sicily and Libya] after a crossing on one of those decrepit boats which ply the sea from North Africa to Sicily. It was not the conditions of the centre to provoke the revolt: this was opened only last year and a parliamentary commission had recently declared it to be excellent. Instead it was triggered by the dead certainty of being expelled. A recent agreement between Egypt and Italy simplified the procedure for deporting illegal migrants and for the immigrants locked up in the Bari detention there was almost no hope of avoiding deportation.

At least 100 migrants had initially taken part in the attempt to escape but following the intervention of the police the number of those involved reduced to less than 40. Only four days ago in the same centre, 7 immigrants escaped - 6 Egyptians and 1 Palestinian, and one officer was injured. During the same week an attempted revolt was also quelled by the police."