Police raid Baobab refugee centre

Rome police detain 23 refugees from Centro Baobab.

Rome police detained 23 undocumented refugees following a dawn raid at the volunteer-run Centro Baobab, which offers assistance to hundreds of refugees every day, on 24 November.

Dressed in riot gear and accompanied by sniffer dogs, around 60 police stormed the well-known migrant centre on Via Cupa, near Tiburtina station, at 06.30. Officers separated those with valid documents from those without – according to winesses – detaining at least 23 north African refugees at an immigration office on nearby Via Teofilo Patini.

dawn raid

The raid was part of tough new anti-terrorism measures announced by Rome police chief Nicolò D’Angelo in the wake of the recent Paris attacks, and ahead of the Vatican’s Holy Jubilee of Mercy, which begins on 8 December.

Designed to house around 200 people, the Centro Baobab offers daily meals to as many as 700, acting as a refuge to both Christian and Muslim immigrants from the Middle East and Africa.

Volunteers say the raid has renewed their concerns over "rumours of imminent eviction."

Photo La Repubblica