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  4. KINGDOM OF SPAIN: IMMIGRATION LAW AMENDMENT WILL VIOLATE RIGHTS

KINGDOM OF SPAIN:
IMMIGRATION LAW AMENDMENT WILL VIOLATE RIGHTS

Update info:
11 Nov 2014
Country:
KINGDOM OF SPAIN
Subject:
Period:
12 Dec 2014
Distribution date:
11 Nov 2014
UA No:
273/2014

The Spanish government has proposed an amendment to the immigration law that would facilitate automatic and collective expulsion of migrants, refugees and asylum-seekers from the borders of the two Spanish enclaves in North Africa, Ceuta and Melilla, depriving them of the right to seek asylum and exposing them to the risk of serious human rights violations.

On 22 October, the ruling Popular Party’s Parliamentary Group (Grupo Parlamentario Popular) tabled an amendment to the draft Law on Public Security (Ley Orgánica para la Protección de la Seguridad Ciudadana) currently being debated in Congress. The amendment (Amendment no. 191 to the draft Law on Public Security, Initiative 121/105) aims to modify Organic Law 4/2000 on the rights and freedoms of foreigners in Spain and their integration in a way that would allow rejecting migrants, asylum-seekers and refugees at the borders of Spain’s two enclaves in North Africa, Ceuta and Melilla.

The amendment which reads “foreigners detected on the boundary line of the demarcation of Ceuta and Melilla attempting an unauthorized crossing of the border in a clandestine, flagrant or violent way, shall be rejected in order to prevent their illegal entry into Spain”, does not detail the procedure for “border rejections” or provide any human rights safeguards. This failure will deprive asylum-seekers of access to the asylum procedure in Spain and could result in refoulement by exposing migrants, asylum-seekers and refugees to the risk of serious human rights violations in Morocco. The adoption of the amendment would also lead to violations of the prohibition of collective expulsions, the right to an effective remedy and reparation for victims of human rights violations.

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ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Amnesty International, and other human rights organisations have been documenting excessive use of force, and summary and collective expulsions at the borders of the two Spanish enclaves in North Africa, Ceuta and Melilla, where migrants and refugees are being pushed back by Spanish Civil Guards to Morocco.

On 6 February 2014, for example, at least fifteen migrants swimming from Morocco drowned in waters off Ceuta after the Spanish Civil Guards fired rubber projectiles and tear gas in their direction in an attempt to prevent their entry to Spain. A judicial investigation into these deaths is still ongoing. On the same day, 23 people who had survived the swim across and reached the Spanish beach had immediately been returned to Morocco, apparently without access to any formal procedure.

The Minister of the Interior claimed that it was legal to deport the 23 because they had not yet crossed the Spanish border, which he stated was the human border made by the Civil Guard officers. Such statements demonstrate that the Spanish authorities are willing to redefine where Spanish territory begins on a case by case basis in order to deflect from their international obligations.

Further information on UA: 273/14 Index: EUR 41/006/2014 Issue Date: 31 October 2014

Take action

Please write immediately in Spanish, English or your own language:

  • Calling on the Spanish authorities to repeal amendment no 191 to the draft law on Public Security, Initiative 121/105, which would lead to violations of the rights of migrants, asylum-seekers and refugees and constitute a breach of Spain’s obligations under European and international human rights law.

PLEASE SEND APPEALS BEFORE 12 DECEMBER 2014 TO:
Interior Minister
Jorge Fernández Díaz
Paseo de la Castellana, 5
28071 Madrid, Spain
Fax: +34 91 537 14 83
Email: secmin@interior.es
Salutation: Dear Minister

Popular Party Spokes Person
Alfonso Alonso Aranegui
Florida Blanca s/n
28071 Madrid, Spain
Fax: + 34 91 390 63 03
Email: portavoz.gpp@gpp.congreso.es
Salutation: Dear Mr. Alonso

And copies to:

Public Security Law Rapporteur
Conrado Escobar
Florida Blanca s/n
28071 Madrid, Spain
Fax: +34 91 390 63 03
Email: conrado.escobar@congreso.es

Also send copies to diplomatic representatives accredited to your country.

Please check with your section office if sending appeals after the above date.