The situation had been tense for several days, but the riot broke out as a result of the fear of many of the migrants over being repatriated and also, as far as we have been able to understand from witness statements, following the news that the arrival of boats had started up again and that dead bodies were already being recovered. The migrants tried to escape but they had been restrained by the police who had fired hot water canons at them. The accounts we heard said that six of them ended up in the CIE (Immigration Detention Centre)'s hospital ward. One of the asylum seekers who suffered severe bruising in the incident had had his application for asylum denied. He had been sent to Milo because he had been found inside the Salina CARA (Hosting Centre for Asylum Seekers) without the Centre's identification card. He had lost any right he had to stay in the Hosting Centre as he had been absent from the Centre for an extended period of time, yet he had climbed over the fence in order to enter as he had need drinking water and food. The witness statements that we are currently collecting on the events within the Milo CIE are chilling and unfortunately the existence of a concentration camp on our island seems to be a phenomenon to which we have almost got used to. We aim to relaunch a campaign against the CIE and the CARA; a campaign which is in favour of the opening up of borders and for the rights of free circulation, political asylum and humanitarian protection, before spring sees the sea once again being filled with dead bodies.
Cobas Anti-Racist Committee