Home | Friday 17th September 2010 | Issue 739
FIRE TO THE PRISONS
Detention centres in Italy and Belgium have become the latest in Europe to see revolts and rioting from detained immigrants, no longer willing to withstand inhumane conditions and mistreatment.
On Sunday (12th), the via Corelli centre in Milan was set on fire by detainees. It is reported that a boy broke his leg playing football in the centre, and, rather than treat the injury, the Red Cross called in the police - who beat him up. This sparked an evening of uprising for many of the migrants, who managed to chase the police from the cells. The fire, which caused massive damage to the centre, was only put out by police several hours later. In response, five detainees were arrested and detained, with a further two released later in the evening.
On the same day, prisoners and immigrants from Merksplas in Belgium rioted in institutions across the road from each other. After the police dealt with the prison riot - said to be in demand of water and toilet facilities - another broke out in the detention centre. Belgium’s Office des Etrangers has refused to talk about the issue or the motives. But given that Belgium has come under harsh criticism for its treatment of migrants - even by European standards - spontaneous resistance is not surprising. Many of the detainees were already on hunger strike to protest the conditions in the centre and the police have been called to quash four revolts there in the last month.