Migrants end sewn mouths protest in Italy

A dozen migrants who had sewn their mouths shut in an immigrant detention centre outside Rome ended their protest on Friday, officials at the facility and a visiting parliamentary delegation said.

Migrants end sewn mouths protest in Italy
Migrants at an immigration centre on the Italian island of Lampedusa. Photo: Filippo Monteforte/AFP

The last of the migrants taking part allowed medical personnel to remove the thread he had used to stitch his lips and the migrants also ended a hunger strike.

"They have ended all forms of protest in return for an improvement in their conditions," said Khalid Chaouki, a Moroccan-born Italian lawmaker who visited the centre.

A group of Moroccan and Tunisian migrants including an imam started their protest 10 days ago against their excessively long stay in prison-like conditions at the Ponte Galeria centre near Rome's Fiumicino airport.

READ MORE: Migrants sew lips together in Rome protest

Around 100 far-left campaigners took part in a demonstration in Rome also on Friday for all of the country's immigrant detention centres to be shut down. They compared the facilities to "concentration camps".

At another protest in favour of migrants' rights in Naples, activists occupied a Red Cross office. 

There has been a wave of protests in Italy this month for a reform of conditions in immigrant centres.

Prime Minister Enrico Letta has promised to propose reforms by January on overhauling Italy's tough immigration laws and its dysfunctional asylum system.

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