Lampedusa, a tiny island off the southern coast of Italy, is the most common destination for refugees that make their way across the Mediterranean from Libya and Tunisia. Malta, however, gets its fair share, and like their counterparts on Lampedusa, the migrants penned up there in the holding centers sometimes riot.
Many thanks to Vlad Tepes for uploading this video:
Here’s the accompanying article from The Times of Malta:
Tear-Gas Used to Quell Migrants’ Protest
Soldiers had to use tear-gas at about noon today to quell a riot by almost 100 migrants at Safi detention centre.
The disturbance started at about 8 a.m. when a small group of migrants started to protest about their detention after their application for humanitarian protection was rejected.
They started a fire as they called for their release and insisted that the conditions they were living in were ‘inhuman’.
It was not clear what was set on fire. The migrants also damaged beds and smashed furniture as they shouted ‘Freedom, freedom’.
The situation calmed down as policemen in riot gear assembled.
But the protest then flared up again at about 11.30 a.m. and involved a much larger group of migrants who pelted the police with stones and other objects.
Policemen and soldiers in riot gear were seen entering the compound and charging the riots as another fire blazed.
An AFM helicopter flew low overhead.
Lt Col Brian Gatt, head of the Detention Service, confirmed the use of tear-gas and said a number of the migrants would be taken to court.
He said that no one was injured, but sewage water was thrown at him when he entered the migrants’ quarters.
Informed sources said water with toilet bleach was throw at the soldiers and policemen.
Army and police trucks were lined up one in front to other, blocking the view of what was happening inside. An army spokesman said the trucks were parked that way to shield cars in the courtyard from the stone-throwing migrants.
Hat tip: PJ.