Spanish police hand over immigrants to Morocco

GUARDIA CIVIL in Melilla handed over a group of immigrants to Morocco.

The Sub-Saharan immigrants that sat for several hours on top of the Melilla border fence were forced to climb back down by Spanish police and turned over to Moroccan law enforcement officials.

They were part of a rather large group of men – approximately 50 – who tried to enter Spanish territory on Wednesday but got stuck atop the three-storey-high fence, while border guards were watching from below and tried to grab them. Many were helped down to safety after a few hours, dehydrated and weak.

Moroccan police are alleged to have beaten the immigrants using wooden sticks while they were still sitting on the border fence. The Guardia Civil deployed a large number of officers and around twenty police cars. Some of the officers even climbed ladders and fruitlessly tried to talk the immigrants into climbing down the fence.

As many as 1,200 African immigrants have landed on Spanish soil on rubber dinghies in recent days. Many of them were women and children who are now being taken care of by the Red Cross in special shelters. The shelters are packed beyond capacity and one is believed to be currently holding 1,200 immigrants.

The fortified border in Ceuta and Melilla is the scene of frequent clashes between Spanish border guards and Sub-Saharan immigrants who risk it all, even their own lives, to escape war, poverty and disease. Their journey to Europe is not easy and the large majority of them pay smugglers who promise to help them cross the border. 

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