‘Interior Minister should resign over Ceuta deaths’

A coalition of left-wing parties on Wednesday called for Spain's Interior Minister to step down after 15 immigrants died while trying to swim to the Spanish enclave of Ceuta in early February.

'Interior Minister should resign over Ceuta deaths'
Footage showing a group of immigrants allegedly being illegally escorted back to Moroccan soil by Spanish Civil Guard officers. Screen grab: LaSexta

Spain's Izquierda Plural (IP) held up placards in the country's parliament calling for the resignation of foreign minister Jorge Fernández Díaz .

Ricardo Sixto, a spokesperson for the group which represents a broad alliance of left-wing and environmental interests, said the minister should step down as a result of the action taken by Civil Guard officers during the incident in Ceuta.

Those officers fired rubber bullets at immigrants trying to attempting to swim around a breakwater to reach land in Ceuta, although the force claims no one was injured by the shots.

The parliamentary protest by the IP is the latest incident in a political row that continues to destabilize relations between Spain's two largest parties.

Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy has continued to defend the Civil Guard while the leader of the opposition socialist PSOE party recently called for the head of the Civil Guard in Ceuta to step down. 

The Civil Guard will hand videos of the tragic incident to a court in Ceuta, the Interior Ministry said on Wednesday.

The PSOE, meanwhile, is calling for five hours of footage to be made available to the national parliament.  The party has demanded that those videos be handed over within 24 hours, saying it would launch an parliamentary investigation into the incident if this did not happen. 

As many as 30,000 would-be migrants are currently in Morocco hoping to enter Europe, with Ceuta and Melilla — which have Europe's only land borders with Africa — considered the main potential points of entry.

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