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Italian president calls for shorter migrant detentions

Letter responding to lip-sowing protesters at Rome Cie center

07 February, 18:28
Italian president calls for shorter migrant detentions (ANSA) - Rome, February 7 - Italian President Giorgio Napolitano called for shorter detentions at the CIE migrant centre on the outskirts of Rome, which has been at the center of controversy since a group of North Africans held there sewed their lips together to protest their lengthy detention. "An in-depth evaluation of the residency time-frame of the CIE center is both useful and opportune", Napolitano said in a letter that was made public by a member of Premier Enrico Letta's center-left Partito Democratico (PD) party. The letter was sent by the head of State in response to one sent to him by the immigrant inmates of the refugee center of January 1.

The men had used a thread from a blanket and a small needle to sew their mouths closed a the Ponte Galeria facility two months ago. The guarded Ponte Galeria detention centre is located near Rome's international airport to make deportations easier. It holds detains about 100 undocumented migrants. Italy is facing mass inflows from North Africa and now Syria amid the ravages of poverty and war.