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February 16, 2015
February 16, 2015

Spain: Malaga is now a city free of Detention Centres for Migrants

Translator: Anna Papoutsi
Source: Málaga Acoge  Category: Borders
This article is also available in: eles
Spain: Malaga is now a city free of Detention Centres for Migrants

Still eight to go

Malaga is, as of today, a city free of Detention Centres for Migrants (CIEs). The commission for Social Rights of the Malaga City Council approved this morning, with the agreement of all political parties, the institutional motion –which must be endorsed by the plenary next week– which rejects the opening of a new CIE in Málaga. The text of the motion (text in Spanish), submitted by the Roundtable for Immigration following a proposal by the “Malaga Shelters” initiative (Málaga Acoge) and the “Platform for Solidarity with the Migrants of Malaga”, stresses “the rejection of the opening of a new CIE in Malaga”.

“The City Council of Malaga manifested its denial to any future installation in the municipality of any building or public facility –either under the name of Detention Centre for Migrants, Centre for the controlled Stay of Foreigners, Centre for the temporary stay or any other name that may be used– that aims at the imprisonment and detention of migrants simply because of their status, and transfers this agreement to the Ministry of Interior”, reads the decision taken this morning. For Adela Jimenez, president of “Malaga Shelters”, this announcement is “a step forward in the struggle for the closure and disappearance of these centres throughout Spain. Since the CIE of Malaga was shut down, the central government has on several occasions expressed its intention to open a new CIE in our city. With this motion, the society of Malaga sends a very clear message: we do not want any CIE!”.

It needs to be remembered that the CIE in Malaga was shut down on June 20, 2012 numerous demands by many social organisations –including “Malaga Shelters”– and of the numerous motions that the Malaga City Council approved denouncing the conditions in the centre. The closure of the CIE brings to an end a 22 year-long history of unnecessary suffering for the thousands of people who have gone through this facility since its opening in 1990 (as reflected on the webpage CIE Malaga: Never again). Suffice to say that, according to the Ministry of Interior, between 2004 and 2009 over 17,000 people passed by the Centre. Over these two decades, complaints by many institutions –from the Ombudsman of Andalusia and Spain, the Public Prosecutor, social entities and even the Malaga City Council itself– were constant due to the lack of respect of human rights, the abuses, the poor conditions of the facility or the lack of transparency in its management and operation. In that sense, the closing of the CIE of Malaga was a success of the whole society and institutions of Malaga.

However, since then, the central government has stressed that it would reopen a centre like this in our city. In fact, recently, just days ago, on January 15, 2015, the Government once again reaffirmed its willingness to open a new CIE in Malaga. In a written reply to a parliamentary question on the 2015 objectives of the Ministry of Interior, the Government asserts that “the construction of three new CIEs in Algeciras, Madrid and Malaga are in the feasibility study stage”. For these reasons, these days when the anniversary of the administrative closure of the CIE in Malaga is celebrated, “Malaga Shelters” and other social organisations consider necessary for the City of Malaga to manifest its rejection to any future installation of a CIE in the municipality.

However, Malaga Shelters stresses the importance of closing down all eight CIEs in Spain and that, both through this entity and many others, the struggle will continue to emphasise the need for their disappearance.

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