Lampedusa migrants airlifted to Palermo, protesting MP says
Chaouki barricaded himself in holding center on Sunday24 December, 11:38
A Democratic Party (PD) member of the Italian Lower House, Chaouki on Sunday barricaded himself inside the so-called First Hosting Centre (CPA) to protest conditions there.
Every year, tens of thousands of migrants make first contact with Europe on the Italian island between Tunisia and Sicily after the hazardous crossing over the Mediterranean from North Africa.
The facility is at the centre of an international storm after a video showing naked migrants being sprayed with disinfectant was broadcast last week.
A second group of refugees are being airlifted out later on Tuesday, including survivors from a migrant-boat wreck in October in which over 360 people died, Chaouki said.
''Seven survivors of the October 3 shipwreck are being left behind, pending a court authorization,'' Chaouki added. Chaouki on Sunday issued the government an ultimatum, stating that he would not leave until the overcrowded facility lives up to its obligations as a transitory centre.
''I am not moving until the centre returns to the role it was assigned by international treaties - a temporary centre, where stays cannot exceed 96 hours,'' Chaouki went on.
Chaouki's demonstration began the same day news broke of 10 immigrants who sewed their mouths shut with needle and thread to protest their continued confinement in a secondary detention centre in a western suburb of Rome.