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February 26, 2014
February 26, 2014

A cry for help from the CIE* of Madrid

Author: Olga Rodrígez Translator: Eleni Nicolaou
Source: El Diario  Category: Borders
This article is also available in: eles
A cry for help from the CIE* of Madrid

CIE of Madrid

* CIE: Centro de Internamiento de extranjeros (Detention centre for Migrants)

  • While Rajoy described in Congress a non-existent country, dozens of detainees in the Aluche CIE were preparing for a massive deportation and regretted not being able to say goodbye to to their families, friends, children.
  • I know a young man from Gambia who thought that “fucker” meant “hello” because every morning the officers would say fucker, come on, fucker, faster, fucker, wake up, fucker, fucker, fucker.

While, on Tuesday, the debate about the situation of the nation was conducted, in a Parliament that, at times, looked more like a theatre, some journalists were receiving a handwritten letter pleading and asking for help by detainees in the Aluche CIE.

The letter begins: “This is a written statement and a cry for help from all detainees in the CIE of Madrid”.

The 94 signing it –by name, surname and ID number– reveal that they are awaiting for their deportation from the country, denounce a wave of deportations in the last weeks, describe abuse and explain their frustration for not being able to say goodbye to their friends, family and children, before being sent back to their countries, against their will, via Air Europa and the Globalia group, which manages the deportation flights.

In the afternoon, the police blocked the entrance to the CIE to many Dominican detainees’ relatives. “It’s probably a sign that they are already being transported to the airport”, members of the campaign Shut down the CIEs pointed out.

The letter is an unprecedented move, an attempt by the detainees to be heard beyond the walls of the CIE. It is a cry against the Immigration Law and the racist immigration policies.

The detainees denounce that “our social ties are being scorned, ignored and trampled, our rights and those of our families are being violated. Separating us from them and depriving our children and especially our minor children of their natural right, exposing them to neglect and abandonment”.

They report that on February 13 not only Senegalese and Moroccan people were deported, an act immediately denounced by the movement No to CIEs, but also people were deported to Nigeria who were not from this country, with the complicity of the Nigerian consulate. And they lament the lack of information about the deportations and the nervousness that this causes:

“We are aware that on 25th of February, a special flight will take place destined to South America, deporting there the majority of South Americans, almost without prior notification, something that causes us great anxiety, because, when these massive deportations are planned, it is given with very short notice and many of us come from cities and provinces away from Madrid, which leaves no time for us to say goodbye to our families and pack our belongings.

The letter also recounts police brutality during the deportation of Moroccans on February 20 and denounces that these deportation proceedings “are under the complete control of the police, there is no one of any human rights institution to verify and give the approval over who is forced by a judge to embarka on these flights”. It also says that the CIE detainees can only go out to the patio for two hours. The rest of the time they are locked in cells and corridors.

While Rajoy described in Congress a nonexistent country, dozens of people in the Aluche CIE, were trying to visualise how their lives will be when leaving behind their own people –children, mothers, wives– helpless and unprotected.

There are many realities that are not part of the agenda of the political power and, therefore, they hardly exist in the public discourse.

I know a young Gambian guy who thought fucker meant hello, because every morning when the officers took him out of the cell of the Melilla CETI (Centre for Temporary Stay of Immigrants) in which he was being held, they were saying fucker, let’s go , fucker, faster, fucker, wake up, fucker, fucker, fucker.

We are experiencing the era of fucker, come on’, of contempt and abuse, the era of policies allowing firing rubber bullets and tear gas, not assisting people who are dying, violating the rights of those without papers, deporting people arbitrarily, arresting them without any charges of having committed a crime, abusing them, excluding them. It is a strategy that is now practiced against some other people but it might once be brought against us.

People under deportation from Spain are immobilised by tire-up around their wrists. If anyone protests or resists, he may end up handcuffed, hands and feet. In Europe there have been several people who have died from suffocation after being gagged during their expulsion. One of them, the Nigerian Osamuyia Aikpitanhi, died in Spain in 2007. Two years later, in 2009, we could see through a video the humiliating treatment of a migrant by the Spanish police at the foot of the plane which he was about to be deported on, using methods qualified as brutal by various NGOs .

Borders kill and do not solve any problem that is the root of our current reality, which is none other than inequality, whose consequences affect us all.

Poverty is not a natural phenomenon. There are those responsible, and also there are its causes and the ways to combat it. It is not eliminated by more walls, less rights and more violence.

Determination is required for political and social transformation, for politicians that will stand by the people and face the consequences of the war that many of their own clan have brought about.

The full letter of the CIE detainees in Spanish here.


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