Immigrants in Spain Held in ‘Carceral’ Environment – Anti-Torture Committee

Immigrants in Spain Held in ‘Carceral’ Environment – Anti-Torture Committee © AP Photo/ Santi Palacios

18:04 09.04.2015(updated 18:12 09.04.2015) Get short URL

The Council of Europe’s anti-torture committee slammed Spain’s government for making immigrants and asylum seekers live in unacceptable conditions, a report published on Thursday said.

MOSCOW (Sputnik) — The report by the Council of Europe’s Committee for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment summarizes the results of the Committee’s visit to detention centers for immigrants and asylum seekers located in the Spanish cities of Barcelona, Madrid and Melilla in July, 2014.

The report highlights that Spanish authorities have not implemented recommendations made by the Committee in 2011 and have not improved living conditions in the detention centers in Barcelona and Madrid.

“The two CIEs [detention centers] continue to display a carceral environment which is inappropriate for persons detained under aliens legislation.”

According to the report, migrants held in the centers in Barcelona and Madrid are being addressed “by their detention number rather than by their name” and are forbidden to receive visits longer than 30 minutes.

In Melilla, a Spanish autonomous city on the north coast of Africa, immigrants and asylum seekers are physically and verbally abused and make constant attempts “to clamber over the border fences into Spanish territory.”
The report urges Spanish authorities to ensure that migrants deprived of their liberty are well treated and have immediate access to a lawyer and an interpreter.

There are eight detention centers for migrants in Spain, each holding as many as 2,500 people. In 2012, two migrants from North Africa awaiting deportation in one of detention centers in Spain died because they could not get appropriate medical treatment.

The EU borders agency Frontex estimates that over 276,000 people entered the EU illegally in 2014, a 155-percent increase over 2013. For the most part, the migrants traveled across the dangerous area of the Mediterranean separating North Africa from the Spanish and Italian coasts.

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