[WATCH] Migrants at the Safi detention hold protest to demand freedom

Detention centre staff are currently trying to diffuse the situation as riot police wait outside

Migrants at the Safi detention centre are protesting against their continued detention on Monday
Migrants at the Safi detention centre are protesting against their continued detention on Monday

Migrants being held at the Safi detention centre are currently protesting against their continued detention in what is a developing incident.

The protest started shortly after 10am on Monday morning, when the migrant started shouting and demanding to be set free. Black smoke can occasionally be seen rising from within the centre however it is unclear what is being burnt.  

A considerable number of police officers wearing riot gear, as well as various police officers from other sections, are at the centre and have lined the perimeter fence outside. They have not, at this stage, entered the facility. Officials from the European Asylum Support Office (EASO) are also on site. 

Detention centre officers are trying to speak to protestors in a bid to calm them down, however this has not worker so far.

The protest started shortly after 10am
The protest started shortly after 10am
Migrants held up signs saying' four months in detention why?
Migrants held up signs saying' four months in detention why?

Sources who spoke to MaltaToday said that ambulances and medical doctors are on standby, however no injuries have yet been reported.

At roughly 1:30pm migrants appeared to stop to pray. The situation calmed down temporarily however police officers remained outside. 

At 2pm, chants and banging could be heard once again. Smoke was again seen emerging from within one of the buildings.  

Smoke can be seen rising from within the facility
Smoke can be seen rising from within the facility

It is unclear at this stage how many of those being detained at the centre are involved in the protest or how long they have been detained.

Several banners with the word freedom have been strung up by the migrants along the perimeter fence.

Migrants can be heard shouting freedom and banging inside the building.

READ MORE: Ongoing detention of asylum seekers for medical reasons is unlawful, NGOs say

More in National