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Immigrants say they are treated 'worse than animals'

Italian detention center visited by journalists

26 April, 18:54
Immigrants say they are treated 'worse than animals' (ANSA) - Bari, April 26 - Immigrants held at a reception center in the southern Italian town of Bari said on Thursday that they were treated "worse than animals" by authorities at the structure.

The center for identification and expulsion, with a capacity of 119 people, is currently occupied by 196 foreigners awaiting deportation, the immigrants said.

A statement from the Left, Ecology and Freedom party Sel, signed by its leader and Puglia governor, Nichi Vendola, as well as the party's national secretary Nicola Fratoianni, said that the centers "represent an intolerable suspension of democracy and civilization in the country".

Speaking to journalists visiting the center, immigrants said that they were frequently sedated with "tranquilizers and other medicines" to avoid protests. Italian detention centers for immigrants have come under fire in the past by international observers like Amnesty International for overcrowding and poor conditions, while Italian authorities maintain that the treatment of migrants and refugees has always complied with international obligations.