Derechos Humanos en la Frontera Sur 2007 (Human Rights at the Southern Border 2007),
Asociación Pro Derechos Humanos de Andalucía
March 2008

A new issue of APDHA's yearly report on human rights at the EU's southern borders, with reports from Spain, Italy, Malta and Morocco, and in-depth sections on the reasons for which Africans emigrate, on the migration flows and the different kinds of human rights violations that take place, and on the way in which the EU's borders are moving south. Finally, the report features a table in which all the incidents resulting in 921 deaths at the border in Andalucía, the Canary islands or after setting off from the African coasts are documented.

While mentioning the "triumphalist" figures on arrivals and migrants who were returned in 2007 produced by the Spanish interior ministry, the report focuses on aspects that it disregards, including what it terms "collateral damage", both in terms of the victims, and the practices to "regulate migratory flows" that undermine human rights. Articles are included dealing with "the violence of borders" at an international level, and the difficulties of a physical kind that the lengthy journeys across deserts and countries entail, the repression by members of law enforcement agencies and the military en route to Europe.

With regards to Spain, the case of unaccompanied minors is treated in depth, and three examples are provided of different ways in which commitments included in international conventions are ignored: the case of the Marine I ship, whose more than 300 passengers were held in terrible conditions in Mauritania and whose possibility of filing for asylum experienced "serious difficulties", with many of them transferred to countries other than their countries of origin; the death of the Nigerian Osamyia Aikiptanhi while he was being repatriated by airplane; and the situation of Pakistanis, Bangladeshis and other Asians who lived in inhumane conditions in Ceuta after fleeing from the city's detention centre - they feared expulsion at a time when both Pakistan and Bangladesh were in a difficult situation in which human rights were not guaranteed.

Other matters that are analysed include the activities of Frontex (described as the "acronym of disgrace"), the Frontex Regional Control Centre in the Canary islands, joint patrols and the donation of aircraft, funding and details of the operations that have been carried out; co-operation with Morocco and readmission and other agreements with other countries that have resulted in Spanish interior ministry offices opening in Mauritania, Senegal, Mali, Guinea Bissau, Guinea Conakry and Cape Verde. This co-operation is described as "conditioned" (with development co-operation used as a bargaining tool) and hence "contemptible", and as based on a notion of "illegal emigration" that is very dangerous from a legal and human rights-based viewpoint. The situation of sub-Saharans in transit in Morocco is also looked at extensively.

The Report in full (link)


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