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Migrants riot in Spain detention centre

Dozens of migrants held in a detention centre in Madrid have rioted, climbing on the building’s roof and breaking furniture, a spokesperson for the city’s mayor said.

“We don’t know the exact number, 30 or 40. They climbed onto the roof and the police are there attempting to negotiate,” the spokesperson for Madrid mayor Manuela Carmena said Tuesday, adding that no-one had been injured.

In the early hours of Wednesday morning the migrants had gathered outside the centre shouting “freedom, freedom”, while about 15 were sat on the roof in light rain, an AFP reporter said.

Some of the migrants blocked security cameras inside the building and broke furniture to make their way to the roof, Spanish daily El Pais reported.

Carmena said she was ready to attempt a mediation if requested by the district authorities.

“Events at the detention centre continue to worry me,” she said on Twitter, adding that “human rights were the priority”.

Associations and academics have regularly denounced prison-like conditions in Spain’s seven immigration detention centres — some of which have overcrowded rooms, dirty toilets and little in the way of social services or translators.

The centres are meant for people who have come to Spain without a residence permit and are in the process of being deported.

In October 67 migrants without residence permits managed to flee a detention centre where they were being held near the southeastern city of Murcia. One of the migrants first pretended to be ill, before the others rose up in mutiny as the ambulance arrived.