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March 16, 2015
March 16, 2015

Spain: Belletti files a lawsuit against the Civil Guard for illegally returning him to Morocco

Author: David Bou Translator: Anna Papoutsi
Source: La Directa  Category: Borders
This article is also available in: caeles
Spain: Belletti files a lawsuit against the Civil Guard for illegally returning him to Morocco

The lawyer of Renaud Belletti, Andrés García Berrio, during the press conference, accompanied by the photojournalist and Renaud’s partner, Teresa Palomo, Jose Palazón of PRODEIN and Sergi Camara, also a photographer and member of Frontera Sur (Southern Border) / Enric Catalá

After three weeks of internment of the Renaud Belletti in the CIE of Zona Franca de Barcelona, ​​his lawyer, Andrés García Berrio, announced at a press conference the filing of a lawsuit against the Civil Guard. He accuses them of perversion of justice for pushing him back to Morocco last May during a group jump of the Melilla fence.

The lawsuit was filed at the Court of First Instance No. 2 of Melilla, the city where the incident occurred, and specifically directed against the head of the Civil Guard, although it is intended that the criminal and civil actions be extended to other persons or entities responsible. At the press conference, which made public the complaint and audiovisual material as evidence, García Berrio was accompanied by the photojournalist and partner of Belletti, Teresa Palomo; by the president of the PRODEIN association, José Palazón, and the photographer Sergi Camara.

The facts reported go back to the morning of May 1, 2014. That night about 50 people tried to access the Spanish territory jumping the three fences that surround the perimeter of the border city of Melilla separating it from Morocco. As shown in the images made public yesterday in a video by Teresa Palomo, the young man was arrested by the Civil Guard after remaining for six hours on the inside of the fence, officially located within Spanish territory. Subsequently, armed agents handed him over to Moroccan security forces through two doors located on the same fence, without respecting national and international legislation on push-backs. According to Belletti’s own statement, he was not identified nor was he informed of his rights, at no time was he asked his nationality, he had no opportunity to request asylum, he was denied medical care for his injuries caused by the blades of the fence and they did not open the corresponding administrative file for his return back to Morocco.

The lawyer García Berrio has requested the temporary suspension of the deportation proceedings against Belletti to prevent obstructing the investigation and violation of his fundamental right to effective judicial protection. A month after the events that led to this lawsuit, Belletti finally managed to access Melilla, where he was held by the Spanish authorities for nine months and where, according to his statement, was blackmailed by the Civil Guard to work as an informant.

Symbolic event

This is the first time that a Sub-Saharan migrant sues the authorities for being pushed back after crossing the fence of Melilla. Belletti’s story has become a paradigmatic case of the immigration control system and the human rights violations occurring at the southern border. This is evidenced by the more than 700 individual and collective signatures demanding to stop his deportation. This petition was delivered to the Prefectures of Barcelona and lists the different pressure actions that have been employed in the past three weeks to stop Belleti’s expulsion.

The announcement of the lawsuit coincides with the inauguration by the Minister of Interior of the new asylum services for migrants in Ceuta and Melilla. Human rights organisations claim that these services are not effective because communities like the Sub-Saharans have been denied access to the border crossing where these are located. The commission Frontera Sur (Southern Border) of the state-wide campaign for the closure of CIEs has issued a statement calling for “the immediate halt of push backs at the border perimeters of Ceuta and Melilla”. Belletti also qualifies as an “eye-witness of the migration framework around the southern border and his testimony is essential for the clarification of human rights violations suffered by migrants” and therefore his deportation must stop and he must be immediately released.

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