On 19 January, the NGO ELIN reported the summary expulsion by Spanish authorities of two people who managed to cross the border between the Spanish enclave Ceuta and Morocco.
According to the NGO based in the Spanish enclave, a few hours before the Moroccan authorities had blocked the attempt of over 300 people to climb the border fence. Witnesses reported that the Moroccan police brutally repressed the crossing and many people were brought to the hospital later.
The two men were the only ones able to reach Spanish territory, one by climbing the barbwire and the other one by bypassing the breakwater. Once in Spain, the men received medical aid by the Red Cross before the national authorities pushed them back to Morocco, preventing them from applying for asylum or being returned through a fair process.
In 2019, arrivals to the Spanish enclaves dropped significantly because of the reinforced cooperation with Morocco and the strengthening of border controls. Even those who manage to cross are subject to accelerated “border procedures”.
The push-back operation is the first one at the enclaves since the coming into power of the new Spanish government. The coalation deal signed between the parties Podemos and PSOE stated: “We are going to promote a fair European policy for migration, putting in place legal and secure paths, in the respect of Human Rights and the universal freedoms and the principles settled by the EU (unofficial translation)”. ELIN is calling the new government coalition to live up to its promises to eliminate these illegal practices that have been going on for decades without legal consequences.
For further information:
- ECRE, Spain: Summary Expulsion of 42 People to Morocco, January 2020
- ECRE, Spain: Rights of Asylum Seekers Deteriorating at Border with Morocco, October 2019
- ECRE, Spain Curbs Last State-Run Rescue Operation in EU, August 2019
- ECRE, Situation Worsens for Migrants on Western Mediterranean Route, June 2019
- ECRE, EU Report Links Drop in Arrivals to Spanish Moroccan Cooperation, May 2019
- ECRE, Op-ed: The Rights of Minors – UN Condemns Spain’s Push-Backs and Demands Legal Amendments, March 2019
- ECRE, 34 refugees die waiting more than 24 hours as ships sinks off the coast of Morocco, 5 October 2018
- ECRE, Op-ed: Cooperation with Morocco in the EU’s African Border – a laboratory of externalization, 12th January 2018
- AIDA, Country report Spain, Update 2018, March 2019
Photo: (CC) Fronterasur, February 2007