Tensions at Italian Migrant Centre Under Quarantine Erupt into Violence

LAMPEDUSA, ITALY - AUGUST 04: Migrants in the Lampedusa hotspot, reportedly collapsing, waiting to be transferred to the quarantine ship "Gnv Azzurra" on August 04, 2020 in Lampedusa, Italy. The Italian island has reportedly run out of room to quarantine migrants, as is required as part of Italy's anti-coronavirus measures. …
Fabrizio Villa/Getty Images

Tensions are at a boiling point at a migrant centre under lockdown in Valderice, after being the site of several brawls, violent incidents, and arsons.

Following a series of incidents, the Italian carabinieri now patrols the area near the centre along with the Guardia di Finanza — a militarised police unit under the jurisdictions of the defence and finance ministries. Both forces are also tasked with preventing migrants who may be infected with the Wuhan coronavirus from escaping.

Gabriele Palermo, municipal councillor of Valderice, told newspaper Il Giornale: “The situation is now unsustainable and delicate, which is leading to exasperation among the inhabitants of the area. Citizens are tired and can no longer live their normal lives.”

Last month, the centre, which was previously a hotel, saw migrants burn mattresses and other items to protest being kept under quarantine. Two Tunisian migrants jumped from the windows, resulting in their hospitalisation with serious bone fractures.

Since then, tensions have remained high at the migrant centre with one resident commenting: “Here every night there is a guerrilla war going on among the migrants. You don’t sleep anymore, and we can’t have serenity.”

The town’s mayor, Francesco Stabile, has written to Italian Interior Minister Luciana Lamorgese, detailing the violent conflicts between locals and the newly arrived migrants.

“I do not hide the difficulty I experience on a daily basis in instilling security and protection for my fellow citizens,” Stabile wrote. Others, meanwhile, have complained there simply are not enough police officers present to deal with any serious unrest at the facility.

Italy has seen a wave of new migrant arrivals in recent weeks with many testing positive for the Wuhan coronavirus. Earlier this month, 21 of 57 migrants who arrived in Calabria tested positive for the virus.

Along with several other European countries, Italy has seen a major surge in new coronavirus cases. It has prompted regions to implement curfews and raised the possibility of potential lockdowns.

Follow Chris Tomlinson on Twitter at @TomlinsonCJ or email at ctomlinson(at)breitbart.com


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