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The attempts to jump the fence: The tip of an iceberg loaded with cruelty

In light of the last attempt to jump the fence in Mellilla by 300 people from Sub Saharan Africa, two organizations with a presence in Melilla, Solidary Wheels and No Name Kitchen:

  • Denounce the cruelty of border policies, institutional racism and lament the death of a person trying to reach Spain.

  • Encourage citizens to find out the causes of the attempts to reach European soil by the migrant population and to understand that their migratory transit is not over when they reach Melilla where they may be trapped for a long time.

  • Demand that the European and Spanish authorities intervene immediately to alleviate the situation of overcrowding in the different centers for where people in an irregular situation in Melilla and to provide guarantees of social distancing that will protect them from the COVID-19 pandemic.


In the face of the last attempt to jump over the fence in Melilla by 300 people from sub-Saharan Africa, we at Solidary Wheels and No Name Kitchen deeply regret the physical damage as well as the human life lost in the attempt to reach Spanish territory. Both entities, who are present in Melilla, denounce the usual cruelty of border policies and the violence against people on the move as well as the institutional racism that is reflected in numerous situations. An example of this is described by CEAR in its 2019 report: "The land border post in Melilla received 2,800 requests, mainly from people from Syria, Palestine and Yemen. Therefore, once again, these figures reveal the impossibility for sub-Saharans to physically reach these asylum offices. Thus, de facto, as the only way to access the asylum procedure, they are condemned to risking their lives to reach Spanish territory by sea or by jumping over the border perimeter".



Facts like today's, put the focus on a strategic place in the world, Melilla where it is common for people of African origin to try to access European soil. At Solidary Wheels and No Name Kitchen we believe that it is harmful for all societies to establish the false belief that migration begins at the fence (it takes many people years of their lives to reach Mount Gurugu) and to sustain the belief that their transit ends when they reach European soil. Far from it, and much more so in "the prison city" that is legally Melilla, many of the people on the move who arrive in the autonomous city will spend years, some all their lives, without the capacity to legalize their situation and therefore, in the absence of a registration, without access to basic services such as health care or the right to education.



Finally, and after an exhaustive follow-up of the conditions in which people on the move are housed in the places set up for people in an irregular situation, we from Solidary Wheels and No Name Kitchen demand that European and Spanish authorities intervene immediately to alleviate the situation of overcrowding which is constant in these places. This was a common demand made repeatedly before, but it becomes essential in the current moment of high alert against the COVID-19 pandemic. The two organizations denounce that increasing the capacity of these places in such high percentages puts the health of many people at risk.

In fact, both the local bullring, one of the places set up during the pandemic to house homeless adults, many of them in an irregular situation, as well as the CETI (Temporary transit centre for Migrants), have accumulated numerous complaints due to overcrowding, unhealthy conditions and the lack of protection and distance measures in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic. The conditions in the centres for minors in Melilla are no better, for instance La Purísima, which is currently tripling its accommodation capacity, increasing the risk of infection among minors.

For all these reasons, both organizations, from Melilla, demands that the Interior Ministry of the Government of Spain, following the recommendations of the Ombudsman, the urgent recommendations of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, Michelle Bachelet, and the recommendations of the Subcommittee on Prevention of Torture or Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment (dated 25/03/2020), urgently carries out the transfers to the mainland of migrants or asylum seekers that are necessary to be able to offer them the fair health guarantees that any human being deserves.

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