Immigrant sews mouth in passport protest

Consulate won't issue duplicate

(ANSA) - Genoa, February 25 - A Tunisian man sewed his mouth up with needle and thread and is camping out in a sleeping bag outside his country's consulate in Genoa to protest authorities' refusal to issue a replacement passport, which he needs in order to stay legally in Italy and claim asylum. Bologna-based Slah Ayadi, 32, lost a passport issued in 2011, according to the Repubblica Genoa newspaper. He and his wife, who is of Moroccan origin but born in Italy, applied for a duplicate passport for him before he also requested political asylum.
    Authorities gave him several temporary permits to stay but in November his permit was not renewed. He is therefore classed as illegal even though he got married in Italy and has an identity card issued by Bologna town hall.
    The couple told Italian media they were trying to get another permit for Ayadi to stay but he needed a passport to do so. The consulate has said it will do all it can but has advised him to return to Bologna.