Islelanders

A newly-arrived Somali migrant is greeted by an old friend at the Lyster barracks detention centre for immigrants in Hal Far, outside Valletta, July 10, 2013.  The two women said they had been held in detention together in Libya for seven months.  Migrants who land in Malta face mandatory detention that can last for 18 months but figures show nearly half are allowed out sooner, following the granting of refugee status or humanitarian protection, according to official sources.

A newly-arrived Somali migrant is greeted by an old friend at the Lyster barracks detention centre for immigrants in Hal Far, outside Valletta, July 10, 2013. The two women said they had been held in detention together in Libya for seven months. Migrants who land in Malta face mandatory detention that can last for 18 months but figures show nearly half are allowed out sooner, following the granting of refugee status or humanitarian protection, according to official sources.

A colleague at Times of Malta and I had made the arrangements to visit Lyster detention centre a few days earlier, so it was simply luck that we happened to be there when a group of migrants I had photographed overnight arriving in Malta, were brought to the centre for the first time. It was wonderful to see these old friends be unexpectedly reunited right in front of my eyes. Their beaming smiles and laughter are not the sort of thing you see often in detention.

Canon EOS 5D Mk II
Canon EF 16-35mm f/2.8L II USM
Focal length 25mm
Manual exposure
f/5
1/30 sec
ISO 640

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