• Spain's news in English
 
app_header_v3
Migrants 'face beatings and abuse' trying to enter Spanish territory
Would-be migrants line up outside the police station to register, in the Spanish enclave of Melilla. Photo: AFP/Blasco de Avellaneda

Migrants 'face beatings and abuse' trying to enter Spanish territory

AFP · 9 Jan 2016, 18:11

Published: 09 Jan 2016 18:11 GMT+01:00

The Moroccan Association for the Integration of Immigrants, which is based in Malaga in southern Spain, said six migrants had been killed since December 25 trying to make the dangerous crossing.

Three migrants drowned and 19 others were hospitalised on Christmas Day attempting to enter the territory by swimming from Morocco or scaling a barbed-wire fence, the rights group said in a statement.

Those hurt and killed were part of a group of over 300 migrants who were trying to reach Ceuta, which is located across the Strait of Gibraltar from mainland Spain.

A total of 185 migrants managed to enter the Spanish territory but a "large group" was arrested by Moroccan authorities and released in cities in southern Morocco, the statement said.

Another three migrants drowned on Monday and about 20 were hospitalised when hundreds of migrants once again tried to cross into Ceuta from Morocco, the association said.

Two men and a woman are in critical condition and will need surgery to repair fractured bones in their legs and hands, it added.

"Two of the victims said the fractures they suffered were due to the violence and abuse exercised on the part of security forces against them," the statement said.

About 250 migrants who tried to enter Ceuta at this attempt were arrested by Moroccan authorities and taken to cities in southern Morocco, including several who were in critical condition, it added.

The association said it was "extremely worried" by the rise in the "acts of violence against migrants in border areas of Ceuta" and called for an investigation into the actions of security forces in the region.

Ceuta, along with Melilla to the east, are Spanish territories on the northern coast of Morocco that together form the European Union's only land borders with Africa.

Spain fortified fences in the two territories last year in response to a rise in the number of migrants trying to jump over the barriers from Morocco.

In February 2014, 15 migrants drowned in the Mediterranean after dozens tried to enter Ceuta by swimming from a nearby beach.

Human rights groups and migrants said the Spanish police tried to keep them from crossing into Spanish territory by firing rubber bullets and spraying them with tear gas.

Madrid has since said that its guards are now banned from using rubber bullets to repel migrants.

For more news from Spain, join us on Facebook and Twitter.

Today's headlines
Family warns of painkiller risk after Irishman dies on holiday
Billy Smyth died after taking the painkiller Nolotil. File photo: AFP

Relatives of an Irishman who died after being prescribed a common painkiller in Spain have spoken out to warn other holidaymakers of the danger.

Police bust gang selling fake holiday rentals in Barcelona
The gang put fake adverts for holiday apartments on different websites. Photo: Ajay Suresh/Flickr

Spanish police have busted a gang who have been advertising fake holiday apartments in Barcelona.

7 reasons why grandparents in Spain are simply the best
Photo: 3dom/Flickr

As Spain celebrates Grandparents' Day, The Local takes a look at what makes Spanish abuelos so special...

Bull pops into high street bank during Spanish fiesta
The bull emerged from the Bankia branch in Cheste. Screenshot from Youtube.

A bull made an unusual stop off during the annual bull run at a festival in Cheste, in the eastern region of Valencia.

Air Europa cancels 114 flights during four-day pilot strike
Photo: AFP

The Spanish airline has cancelled 38 internal and 76 international flights between July 30th to August 2nd as pilots strike during the busy start of the summer holidays.

Drones hunt down 1.7 million tax cheats in Spain
Photo: Don McCullough/Flickr

The Spanish government has used drones to discover more than 1.69 million homes are not paying sufficient taxes.

Couple find snake in their bed in northern Spain
The snake was found under the pillow. Photo: Diputación de Zaragoza

The serpent was inches away from their baby, whose cries alerted the couple to their unwelcome visitor...

The Local list
Bucket list: 16 brilliant things to do once in your life in Spain
Spain is just waiting to be explored. Photo: Rvdo. Kaskajales / Flickr

The Local brings you the ultimate Spanish bucket list.

First baby in Europe with Zika defects born in Spain
The Zika virus is spread by mosquitos. Photo: Yuri Cortez/AFP

A baby has been born in Spain with Zika-caused microcephaly, the first to be born in Europe with the condition.

Suspend EU funds for Spain says European Commission
European Commission vice president Jyrki Katainen. Photo: AFP

The EU should suspend structural funds to Spain and Portugal after they failed to rein in their debt, according to a letter from the European Commission seen by AFP.

Sponsored Article
Avoid hidden fees when sending money overseas
Travel
Barcelona bans Segways from tourist clogged waterfront
National
Police issue guidelines as Pokémon craze sweeps Spain
National
Another dodgy art restoration raises alarm in Spain
Sponsored Article
Why Swiss hospitality graduates are in demand
National
Watch: Man in wheelchair zooms past Barcelona traffic
Sponsored Article
Why you should attend an international job fair
National
Woof! How to find dog-friendly beaches in Spain
Travel
Tourist sparks bomb scare by locking suitcase to park bench
Technology
Five brilliant apps to help improve your Spanish
Sponsored Article
Five things Americans should know about voting abroad
National
Top ten tricks to survive the Spanish summer
Sponsored Article
Why expats choose international health insurance
Travel
Off the beaten track: 14 best kept travel secrets in Spain
International
Keep calm and wait and see: Advice for expats post-Brexit
Sponsored Article
Why you should attend an international job fair
Features
Top 10 Spanish treats to keep you cool in summer
National
'I've had best time ever' insists American gored in bull run
Health
How to avoid heatstroke when Spain starts to sizzle
Sponsored Article
Why Swiss hospitality graduates are in demand
International
Champion of expat property rights in Spain awarded gong
National
Scorchio! Heat warnings issued across Spain
National
Brits demand dual citizenship for expats in Spain post Brexit
Sponsored Article
Avoid hidden fees when sending money overseas
Sport
Spanish matador gored to death in the ring
Lifestyle
Eleven types of men you might typically date in Spain
National
Spanish police rescue British teen trapped by dad in house for two years
Sponsored Article
Why expats choose international health insurance
Features
Seven burning questions for British expats about Brexit
Technology
Six free apps to simplify your summer in Spain
Six important things we learnt from Spain's repeat elections
Politics
Rajoy claims right to form government after poll win
3,309
jobs available