Italy’s Migrant Detention Centres

“Italy’s Migrant Detention Centers Are Cruel, Rights Groups Say,” by Elisabetta Povoledo for the New York Times:

The Identification and Expulsion Center, a detention complex on the outskirts of Rome where illegal immigrants can be held for months before deportation, is not a prison. But the difference seems mostly a question of semantics.

Tall metal fences separate rows of drab low-lying barracks into individual units that are locked down at night, when the concrete courtyards are lit bright as day. There are security cameras. Some guards wear riot gear. Detainees can move around in designated areas during the day, but they are forced to wear slippers, or shoes without laces, so as not harm themselves or others. After a revolt in the men’s section, sharp objects — including pens, pencils and combs — were banned.

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