Italy investigates treatment of migrants at Lampedusa detention center

Dec. 18, 2013 at 3:44 PM   |   0 comments

ROME, Dec. 18 (UPI) -- The Italian Interior Ministry said it has ordered an inquiry into the treatment of migrants after secretly filmed footage shows abuses at a detention center.

Images taken at the Lampedusa detention center by a migrant who spent two months there show a naked man hosed down by authorities in full view of others waiting in line. The footage aired on the Italian state television channel RAI and sparked outrage across Europe, the Italian news agency ANSA reported Wednesday.

The Interior Ministry ordered an inquiry Tuesday, and said it expects a report from local authorities within 24 hours.

Laura Boldini, speaker of Italy's lower house of Parliament, called the treatment of migrants "degrading" and "not worthy of a civilized country" in a Facebook post.

The nearest Italian island to Africa, Lampedusa is a frequent destination for refugees seeking to enter European Union countries. Migrants typically are from Africa and war-torn Syria, officials say.

The Italian coast guard told CNN in September the island had 1,250 migrants living in a space designed for 250.

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