• 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
'Sulking Ronaldo has to live with being subbed': Zidane
Ronaldo celebrates a goal before he was substituted in the game against Las Palmas. Photo: Desiree Martin/AFP

Real Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane insisted Cristiano Ronaldo has to learn to live with being substituted after the Portuguese striker sulked off the field.

Basques and Galicians vote to unblock Spain's deadlock
Partido Popular candidate Alberto Nunez Feijoo voted in the election on Sunday. Photo: Miguel Riopa/AFP

Spain's Basque country and Galicia went to the polls Sunday in regional elections that may help unblock the long-lasting national political paralysis.

Feature
 Spanish cinema breaks taboo and talks ETA
A still from Justin Webster's documentary The End of ETA. Photo: The End of ETA

Documentaries on terror group ETA have been screened at San Sebastian film festival and met with applause, as the taboo fades.

 Spain's Socialists in crisis as political blockage takes toll
Pedro Sanchez has repeatedly said he won't support Rajoy. Photo: AFP

Spain's nine-month political paralysis is taking its toll on parties, and none more so than the Socialists who are facing a crisis, with talk of an imminent "coup" against leader Pedro Sanchez.

National anthem: Could Spain finally sing with one voice?
Spanish athletes have had to hum awkwardly for decades. Photo: AFP

Spain's parliament is being asked to consider a solution to one of nation's most enduring and embarrassing problems; what words to sing with the national anthem.

Spain's ten greatest parador hotels to visit this autumn
San Estevo parador in Galicia. Photo: rutea.es

Autumn is the perfect time to explore Spain's hidden corners and parador hopping is the best way to do it.

Spain's Basques go to polls as memories of violence fade
Basque regional president nationalist Inigo Urkullu (L) and Basque Nationalist Party-PNV's president Andoni Ortuzar (2nd L) in Bilbao. Photo: AFP

Could the results of the Basque elections have an impact on the national political deadlock?

Spanish parents call strike over too much homework
Do Spanish children get too much homework? Photo: AFP

Spanish parents have called for a “homework strike” to protest at the amount of extracurricular work they are expected to do with their children.

Family seeks funds for mother injured in Spanish bus crash
Julie Ann Fiegert was returning from a holiday of a lifetime. Photo: GoFundMe page

The family of an Australian woman left fighting for her life after a bus accident in Spain are trying to raise money for her medical expenses.

Second headless bison found at Spanish nature reserve

A mystery surrounding goings-on at a nature reserve in Spain deepened Thursday as a second European bison was found decapitated just days after staff discovered the headless body of the herd's dominant male.

National
Seven reasons why autumn is the very best season in Spain
International
Spanish study finds four types of personality. Which are you?
National
New search underway for civil war grave of poet Lorca
National
Bison found decapitated on Valencia nature reserve
International
Forgotten Voices: What Brits in Spain think about Brexit
Travel
One dead and 14 injured in blast at Spanish resort
International
Game of Thrones want extras 'with muscles' to film in Spain
Sponsored Article
Why Jordan is the ‘Different’ East
Thousands march in Madrid to push for bullfighting ban
Technology
Spanish team invents hands-free 'penis bidet'
National
In pics: Devastation caused by Costa Blanca wildfires
Society
Pregnant woman in niqab attacked by two men in Spain
National
Spanish café offers cut-price coffee to those with manners
Travel
What's on in Spain: September 2016
Travel
'We drank from animal troughs to survive'
National
Forest fires threaten Costa Blanca resort of Jávea
National
Loyal dog mounts vigil at hospital doors for sick owner
Politics
Five reasons why Spain's Socialists won't back Rajoy
National
It's a girl! Rare giant panda cub born in Madrid zoo
Culture
La Tomatina: Everything you need to know about epic fiesta
National
Shocking video shows torture of young calf during fiesta
Police launch appeal for Costa Blanca hit and run driver
Politics
What political deadlock? Spain economy forges ahead
Features
Eight reasons to spend your gap year exploring Spain
3,100
jobs available