Eritrean Survivors of Lampedusa Disaster Released

“Lampedusa sea disaster survivors released after UN condemns ‘dentention'” by Lizzy Davis for the Guardian:

Eritrean asylum seekers who survived disaster at sea only to be held in a reception centre on Lampedusa for more than 100 days have finally left the Italian island, with the UN condemning their extended stay as “not understandable and not acceptable”.

Carlotta Sami, a spokeswoman for the UN’s refugee agency, the UNHCR, in southern Europe said the agency had sent a letter of protest last week to judicial authorities in Sicily over what it said amounted to a prolonged detention of people in urgent need of assistance.

In one of the worst tragedies of its kind in the Mediterranean, more than 300 Eritreans died when the boat carrying them from Libya caught fire and sank off the coast of Lampedusa on 3 October.

Survivors were taken to the island’s centre for first assistance (CPA), a basic and often hugely overstretched first-tier reception centre where new arrivals are supposed to spend no longer than 48 hours…

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