On the occasion of the events at the Melilla fence


Justice and Peace denounces the culture of death behind the European and Spanish migration policy that claims thousands of lives every year

The extremely serious events that took place yesterday at the border post of the Melilla fence, in which dozens have already died and hundreds have been injured, should not be described as just another episode in the management of migratory flows. Moreover, in this episode, repression with extreme harshness by police forces is assumed to be normal, hot returns are carried out and an attempt is made to divert the attention of public opinion by placing the emphasis on violent actions that may have been carried out by some migrants. The root causes of the desperation of millions of people who have no other solution than to enter Europe in order to have a decent future are omitted.

It should not be forgotten that war, famine and persecution are behind each and every story of people leaving their countries. Nor should it be overlooked that all EU countries, in addition to the transit countries, are signatories to the Geneva Convention relating to the Status of Refugees, which obliges member states to provide protection to those persons who "owing to well-founded fear of being persecuted for reasons of race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group or political opinion, is outside the country of his nationality and is unable or, owing to such fear, is unwilling to avail himself of the protection of that country".

The European Union's migration policy, through its various border control instruments, turns migration routes into death traps that claim thousands of lives every year. Control instruments include the reinforcement of land and sea borders, readmission agreements and the outsourcing of the flows management to countries such as Morocco, Libya, Egypt and Turkey, with questionable human rights records. All this allows for the normalisation of a culture of death in which member states are complicit.

Encouraged by the words of Pope Francis who in his message on the occasion of the 108th World Day of Migrants and Refugees in 2022 encourages to "the inclusion of those most vulnerable is the necessary condition for full citizenship", from Justice and Peace, we condemn practices that prevent or hinder the exercise of the right to seek asylum for all those who qualify for it. We also demand, as other organisations have done, a thorough investigation of the Spanish and Moroccan governments about their actions in these deplorable events. At the same time, we deeply regret the Spanish Prime Minister's lack of empathy in this terrible episode.

Spanish Commission for Justice and Peace