Category Archives: Melilla enclave

EU urges Spain to allow migrants to present asylum requests without scaling fence

Brussels (AFP) – The EU urged Spain on Thursday to allow migrants trying to enter its north African enclaves to present their asylum requests without having to scale border fences.

The appeal from the European Commission, the executive of the 28-nation EU, implicitly urged the Spanish police not to immediately deport the migrants who arrive at the enclaves of Ceuta and Melilla.

Commission spokeswoman Nathalie Bertaud told reporters EU commissioner for migration, Dimitris Avramopoulos, would visit Spain Monday and Tuesday “to take stock of the situation on the ground” in light of a new law authorising such deportations.

“The recent establishment of offices at the border for requests for international protection in Ceuta and Melilla is seen by the Commission as a positive development,” she said.

“However, it is necessary to ensure that the border crossing point is accessible in practice to allow asylum seekers to present their application, without having to scale the border fences,” Bertaud added…

Right. There aren’t enough arriving by sea already!


Spain: Illegal immigration jumps by two-thirds

Jumping the fence between Morocco and the Spanish enclave of Melilla in 2014.

The number of illegal immigrants arriving in Spain jumped by 68 percent during 2014, the majority entering via Spain’s north African territories using fake documentation.

The number of illegal immigrants entering Spain through Ceuta and Melilla alone increased by more than half during 2014 compared to the year before with a surge in refugees arriving from Syria.

But although the headlines have given the most attention to those attempting to cross into the enclaves by climbing the fences, the majority of those who entered Spain did so with forged documentaton presented at the border.

The total of 12,549 illegal immigrants in 2014 was a big jump from the year before when 7,472 entered Spain illegally, according to Spanish Interior Ministry information…


Amnesty International on Spain: Two-pronged assault targets rights and freedoms of Spanish citizens, migrants invaders and refugees

Sub-Saharan African migrants invaders scale the fence in Melilla.

Draconian reforms to two pieces of Spanish legislation are an assault on the rights of its citizens as well as an attempt to formalize abusive practices against migrants invaders and refugees, said Amnesty International ahead of a vote in parliament this afternoon.

A double whammy of proposed reforms to the Criminal Code and the Law on Public Security will restrict rights to peaceful assembly, association and freedom of expression. It will also introduce new anti-terror measures and legalize the unlawful push-back of migrants invaders and refugees from Spain’s enclaves of Ceuta and Melilla in North Africa to Morocco…


Spain: Jihadi Cell Threatened Spanish Royal Family; Refugee offices open in Ceuta and Melilla

Spanish civil guards lead a detained man suspected of using social media to recruit people to violent groups like the Islamic State, in Spain’s North African enclave Melilla, February 24, 2015. REUTERS / JESUS BLASCO DE AVELLANEDA

Members of a Spanish jihadi cell, suspected of plotting to carry out attacks in the country, made threats against the Spanish royal family, specifically King Felipe VI and his two daughters, Spanish interior minister Jorge Fernandez Diaz has confirmed.

Eight members of the cell were arrested on Friday in raids conducted across Spain, in Barcelona, Girona, Ciudad Real and Avila, according to an interior ministry statement. All eight are Spanish nationals, and five are of Moroccan origin.

Diaz revealed on Monday that, in the raids, police discovered handwritten notes threatening the royal family, particularly King Felipe and his two daughters, Leonor, nine and heir to the throne, and Sofia, seven…

But hey, no biggie! Also from Spain: Immigration: Refugee offices open in Ceuta and Melilla: Spanish Interior Minister Jorge Fernandez Diez inaugurated two international protection offices at the borders of Ceuta and Melilla to facilitate asylum requests by migrants trying to illegally enter the two Spanish enclaves in Morocco.

Fifteen Guardia Civil agents were assigned to each of the two offices, Tarajal and Beni-Enzar border gates, to identify immigrants entitled to request international protection and ensure the start of the asylum applicant process “in a period of eight days.”

The initiative, Fernandez Diaz told media, is “a step of enormous significance to facilitate access to international procedure at the border, and bring international and European legislation to the subject.” Applications will be reviewed and resolved, as is the case so far, by the Interior Ministry’s Office of Asylum and Refugees.

Ceuta is another small enclave. It is in the news less as it harder to access — invaders must go by boat.

Meililla-Migrants-clash-with-policeSub-Saharans clash with police as they try to scale the border fence between Morocco and Melilla, May 2014


Melilla barrier stormed again; Spain, 4 dead in shipwreck, many missing

Some 50 migrants at dawn Wednesday tried to cross the border of Melilla, a Spanish enclave in Morocco, at the Farhana crossing, which was closed by security forces.

A number of migrants, all of sub-Saharan origin, were able to cross into Spanish territory, while a dozen are still on top of the six-meter-high protection barrier, where Guardia civil officers have been deployed, according to local police sources.

After the migrants tried to storm the barrier, a freelance reporter for the Efe and AFP news agencies, was taken to a local police station when she was found driving a few migrants on her car.

The border crossing is very close to a temporary holding center for migrants in Melilla, where those who succeeded in crossing the barrier were housed. The latest attempt to storm the barrier was reported on February 19, when 35 immigrants crossed into the autonomous city in Morocco.

Related: MADRID – The bodies of four migrants travelling on a boat that was reported missing three days ago while it was attempting to reach Lanzarote in the Canaries were found Wednesday by Moroccan rescuers off the coast of Tan-Tan in the Maghreb country, according to sources from rescue forces quoted by Cadena Ser radio. Search operations kicked off Tuesday to find the boat, which was carrying some 30 migrants, including six women and five children, including two newborns…

More on the journalist smuggling illegals at The Local.


New assault against Melilla barrier – 30 get through

Would-be immigrants sit on a border fence separating Morocco from the north African Spanish enclave of Melilla in an attempt to jump over on Thursday, Feb 19, 2015. Angela Rios/AFP/Getty Images

MADRID – A new assault against a border post in Mellilla, a Spanish enclave in Morocco, took place today at dawn, when thirty sub-Saharan migrants climbed over the frontier-barrier crossing into Spanish territory while other 20 remain on the towering razor-wire fence in the vicinity of the Barrio crossing, said sources from the local authorities.

The migrants who managed to climb over the barrier were escorted by the police to the temporary detention centre (Ceti) of Melilla. This is the first assault that occurs after Moroccan security forces carried out the evacuation of migrant camps on mount Gurugú, an area close to the border, where hundreds of sub-Saharans wait for an opportunity to cross the frontier.

In the last few days, Moroccan human rights Ngos denounced that at least 1,500 migrants have been transferred to temporary detention facilities, located in 18 different Moroccan towns, “against their will”. The migrants are now expected to be repatriated to their countries of origin.


Morocco destroys migrant camps near border with Spanish enclave

Storming the fence at Melilla, March, 2014

(Guardian) Moroccan authorities have begun dismantling makeshift migrant camps near the Spanish enclave of Melilla, setting fire to the temporary homes of hundreds of people who were waiting to try to rush the triple fence at the border, human rights groups have said.

The raids on Mount Gourougou began in the early hours of Tuesday, said the Pro.De.In Association of Melilla. “They burned everything,” one migrant told the Spanish radio station Cadena Ser.

The man said Moroccan security forces used force to hold people back as they destroyed the camps. “They hit us on the arms, legs or on the head. I’m hurt too, they’ve cracked my skull,” he said. Some people were taken to hospital and hundreds of others were put on buses, the man said.

A 21-year-old migrant from the Ivory Coast told El Diario that he watched helplessly as authorities swept through the camp. “Several police came and they burned everything. Everything,” he said. “We couldn’t do anything. They hit us, and some people are in really bad shape”…

More: Morocco crackdown continues at Melilla: Morocco on Wednesday vowed further crackdowns on illegal migrants after rounding up hundreds of foreigners close to the Spanish enclave of Melilla, in a move criticised by local rights groups…


Melilla: 400 storm border fence, 35 get through; Morocco launches anti-migrant sweep near Spain enclave

A Spanish Civil Guard officer (L) throws a sandwich to African migrants sitting at the top of a border fence during an attempt to cross into Spanish territories, between Morocco and Spain’s north African enclave of Melilla on Tuesday. Jesus Blasco de Avellaneda/Reuters

A group of 35 sub-Saharan migrants were able to cross the border into Melilla, a Spanish enclave in Morocco, at dawn on Tuesday after repeated attempts overnight to storm the barrier at the border by an estimated 400 migrants.

According to local security sources, the migrants that were able to enter have reached the local migrant holding center (Ceti) in the autonomous city, while 20 other sub-Saharans have been clinging for hours to the barrier at the border, in the area of Barrio Chino, the border crossing used by Moroccan workers to reach the Spanish enclave, which has been shut down.

Three of the immigrants who reached the holding center are being treated in hospital over injuries reported when they stormed the barrier.

Pressure on the autonomous city has increased over the past few days after the Moroccan government announced that camping sites near Ceuta and Melilla will be dismantled. The camping sites are used by migrants to wait for the best moment to storm the barrier and cross into Spanish territory.

More: 35 Sub-Saharans Manage To Climb Into Melilla

Morocco launches anti-migrant sweep near Spain enclave


ISIS uses prostitution networks – Moroccan expert

150206Feature1Photo1-271_179Police escort a 20-year-old woman in Melilla last December during a combined Spanish-Moroccan sweep of Islamic State recruiters.

A Moroccan expert is warning against the growing threat of the Islamic State (ISIS) using women in terrorist operations.

In the last weeks of 2014, the Moroccan and Spanish security authorities dismantled a cell specialised in recruiting women and sending them to ISIS. The cell was based in Barcelona and had extensions in Ceuta, Melilla and Fnideq.

The cell, comprising four women residing in Barcelona, targeted young girls in Morocco and sent them to Fnideq where they were ideologically indoctrinated before being sent to Syria to engage in “jihad annikah”.

Several reports around the world have sounded the alarm about the rising numbers of women who join ISIS to engage in jihad annikah. The phenomenon, which started as women joined their husbands who were fighting in Syria, has evolved and now includes more and more unmarried girls…


Spain: A Year On, No Justice for Migrant Invader Deaths

Migrants invaders jump the fence at Melilla in March, 2014

(Milan) – There has been little progress toward justice for the drowning deaths of 15 migrants invaders in waters off a Spanish enclave in North Africa on February 6, 2014, Human Rights Watch said today.

The Spanish Guardia Civil fired rubber bullets and teargas at the water while the migrants invaders attempted to swim to Ceuta, one of Spain’s two North African enclaves, from Morocco.

“These were horrific deaths, and very serious allegations of wrongdoing by the Guardia Civil,” said Judith Sunderland, senior Western Europe researcher at Human Rights Watch. “The survivors and families of the victims invaders deserve to know the truth and see justice done.”

Over the past year, nongovernmental organizations have reported instances of excessive use of force and summary returns by Guardia Civil officers at the enclave borders, in particular from Melilla, the other enclave.

But rather than tackle these abusive practices, the Spanish government has sought to institutionalize a policy of summary returns. A deeply flawed public security law before the Senate would, among other things, formalize the summary return of migrants and asylum seekers invaders from the enclaves to Morocco…


Spain: 400 migrants repelled after charging Moroccan guards, storming Melilla border fence

Africans storming the fence in March, 2014

MADRID – Spain says 400 African migrants tried to storm border fences separating its North African enclave Melilla from Morocco and has warned of a buildup in numbers across the frontier.

The Interior Ministry said the migrants charged past Moroccan border forces Sunday by throwing rocks, but were repelled by Spanish guards.

A statement said groups of around 1,000 migrants have approached the border fences almost every day throughout January…


At least six dead in shipwreck off Melilla

Six would-be migrants invaders have died and four are missing after their boat ran into trouble off the coast of the north-African Spanish enclave of Melilla.

The boat, carrying  migrants invaders hoping to reach Spain, was carrying 20 passengers invaders, ten of whom were rescued.

Six people invaders died in the shipwreck and four remain unaccounted for, said Spanish national newspaper, El País.

The majority of the boat’s passengers invaders were from Guinea, said NGO Caminando Fronteras (Walking Borders). “Many of them teenagers,” the group said…


EU: ‘Spain’s new migrant law sets very bad precedent’, ‘the beginning of the end for the asylum system’

Sub-Saharan “migrants” jump the fence in Melilla, March, 2014

A top European rights official warned Spain on Friday that it risked destroying its asylum system if it passed a law authorizing police to immediately deport migrants from its north African territories.
Spain says the measure is needed to help its border guards secure the border of Ceuta and Melilla, two Spanish cities fenced off from Morocco.

Its police have been accused of breaking international rights conventions by beating African migrants who climb the fences into the territories and deporting them on the spot without asylum procedures — so-called “pushbacks”.

The human rights commissioner of the 47-nation Council of Europe, Nils Muiznieks, said after meeting officials in Melilla and Madrid that the plan to legalize such deportations was “in clear breach of human rights law”.

“In many countries I have seen pushbacks, but nowhere are they legal or legalized,” he told a news conference in Madrid.

“It would be a very bad precedent if such practices were enshrined in law because I think that would mean the beginning of the end for the asylum system”…


Spain: 800 migrants storm North African border fence

MADRID (AP) — Spain says 800 African migrants have tried to storm the border fences separating Spain’s North African enclave of Melilla from Morocco in the second such attempt in two days.

The Interior Ministry said police repelled most but 54 migrants managed to make it across Wednesday. Spanish National Television showed the migrants celebrating the feat.

The ministry said two police officers were treated for unspecified injuries during the melee.

Thousands of African migrants living illegally in Morocco try to enter the Spanish enclaves of Melilla and Ceuta each year, hoping to reach a better life in Europe.

On Tuesday, 200 migrants stormed the six-meter (20-foot) high fences, with 102 getting across.


EU: More than 100 migrants invaders enter Melilla after jumping border fence at dawn

Between 30 and 40 migrants invaders were trapped in between the perimeters at Melilla on Tuesday. / Francisco G. Guerrero (EFE)

Around 102 migrants invaders managed to jump the border fence at Melilla early Tuesday morning, according to Spanish authorities.

The majority of the irregular immigrants invaders are sub-Saharans, and were part of a larger group of around 200 people who tried to entering the Spanish North African exclave earlier at the border in a district known as Barrio Chino.

There are many structures and buildings near Melilla’s perimeter with Morocco, as well as a busy pedestrian crossing, which makes it difficult for Moroccan authorities to adequately control the area.

Tuesday’s crossing occurred at about 6.55am.

The migrants invaders were taken to temporary holding center (CETI) where they were processed. Around 40 others were unable to make the crossing after failing to get past the obstacles at the fence, and remained trapped in an area between the border perimeters…