Wednesday, December 18, 2013

And they dare call it civilisation

 In the camp on the Italian island of Lampedusa which houses people from Africa and the Middle East who make the dangerous crossing to Italy by boat, footage filmed secretly on a mobile phone appears to show detainees being forced to strip naked in mixed company while a worker hoses them down.

The man who took the video - an unnamed Syrian refugee - says the migrants are being treated like "animals".  It show migrants queuing up in a crowded, open-air courtyard in mixed company.  One after another, in cold, winter conditions, they have to strip completely naked.

The man who filmed the scene says this is apparently an effort to combat the skin condition, scabies, and that both men and women have to go through it every few days.

The mayor of Lampedusa, Giusi Nicolini, said the video made the centre look like a "concentration camp" and that Italy as a whole should be "ashamed".

The speaker of parliament, Laura Boldrini, said the treatment the migrants were enduring was "unworthy of a civilised country". She pointed out that some of the migrants at the centre were survivors of one of the worst boat disasters off Europe in living memory.

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