News from Lampedusa - a personal report (part 7)

This is the seventh in a series of reports from a NoBorders activist in Lampedusa (Read: Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5 | Part 6 ).

Yesterday was another day of deportations.

In the morning about 700 migrants were brought in a big ferry boat directed somewhere in Italy.

It seems that the day before the mayor had called Berlusconi complaining that the deportations were causing disorders in the island.

In fact as soon as they arrived in Tunisia, some of the Tunisians that were deported at noon called the others in the detention centre to let them know. For that reason they started a fire and some of them run away. Someone is still missing.

About 200 Tunisians were left in the detention centre. At noon another 30 Tunisians where chosen at random to be deported. When they arrived at the airport were happy like kids which believe to a promise. They were repeating "No Tunisia, Milan", because they had been told they would be brought in Milan. They passed very close to me so I had the chance to tell them that actually they were going back to Tunis. As the news spread in the group, they refused to go inside the airport. The 30 Tunisians were surrounded by lots of riot police and many journalists were present. The policemen tried to convince the Tunisians that they were really going to Milan. The Tunisians were crying, shouting, asking why they were bringing them to Tunisia. They said they came because they do not have bread in their country and because they were fed up. It took almost two hours before all the Tunisians decided to get on the plane. The very last ones that accepted to go on the plane, shouted at us that they would come back.

In the evening, around 7.30 pm, about 160 Tunisians arrived. After that, we went to the airport to wait for the deportees to arrive. Unfortunately this time they were brought to the airport from an alternative entrance, so we saw them just from far away. They went on the plane handcuffed and accompanied by two cops each.