A group of 101 people held in a detention centre (CIE) in Madrid have submitted a letter of complaint to the local court and the Spanish Ombudsman against human rights violations being committed in the centre.

Signed on the 28 April, the letter presents a long list of grievances, including racist treatment, physical abuse and threats from authorities, as well as lack of access to medical assistance, detaining of individuals with serious mental health illnesses, use of solitary confinement, and suicide attempts by those detained as a result of the grave treatment. The group also denounce the authorities’ failure to inform them about when deportations will happen as well as the lack of access to the asylum system.

The group is supported by a coalition of seven Spanish NGOs, who stated “It is essential to avoid arbitrariness and impunity, to guarantee the human rights of inmates, and to comply with the regulations, court orders and recommendations of the Ombudsman.”

This letter comes as the latest condemnation of the system of detention centres in Spain, where violations of human rights have been consistently condemned by NGOs, activists and in the courts.

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Photo: (CC) Mánel March 2007

This article appeared in the ECRE Weekly Bulletin . You can subscribe to the Weekly Bulletin here.