Migrants in Rome Evicted From Office Block as UN Voices Concern

Migrants in Rome Evicted From Office Block as UN Voices Concern Migrants in Rome Evicted From Office Block as UN Voices Concern

More than 600,000 people from Africa, Asia and the Middle East have arrived in Italy over the last three years. The eviction of 800 migrants from a former office block in central Rome left some sleeping on the streets.

The Italian capital is usually quiet and relatively empty in August as most residents are on their annual vacations.

On Saturday, 500 law enforcement officers were deployed to evict the 800 migrants, mainly from Eritrea and Ethiopia, who had been squatting in the 1950s-era former office building near the Termini central rail station.

They were placed on buses and taken away for identification. Some people did try to block the street toward the station, but police reinforcements were brought in to be deployed against protesters.

Other people locked out of the building, which has been bought for redevelopment, spent the night on the square surrounded by their suitcases.

The building had been occupied by squatters since 2013, and in 2015 a judge ordered their eviction.

The UN refugee agency, UNHCR, voiced concern and called for a solution: "UNHCR hopes local and national authorities can find an immediate solution for the people currently sleeping under the stars and ensure adequate integration measures for those with a right to international protection," the UNHCR office in Italy said in a statement on Sunday.

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Latest news, Migrants, Illegal Migrants
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