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Maria Soler Besumbes
During the last weeks, SHOCK MONITOR has actively contributed to gather information for two major events organized in Barcelona. On one side, the official launch of the report “Human Rights at the Spanish Southern Border” (2017 – 2018). On the other, the 45th Session of the Permanent People’s Tribunal on the violation of Human Rights of migrant and refugee people. These two civil society initiatives aimed to raise public awareness on the Human Rights implications of European’s Union current migration policies and, they have also highlighted the increasing role that private companies – among them, private military and security companies (PMSC) – have in the securitization of border control policies and in the violation of migrant’s rights related to the implementation of this racist and criminalizing politics.
In the current context of reinforcement of European Union’s policies on security, surveillance and border control, Spain has been the main pioneer in the construction of walls, by building its fences in Ceuta (1995) and Melilla (1998) along with other elements that conform the border devices, as well as an increasing militarization of the land and maritime borders.
The borders of Ceuta and Melilla have become a field experiment for the most cruel and inhuman policies of migration control at European level. In the Southern Spanish border the legal system applies rarely and on an arbitrary manner, and human rights are systematically violated with total impunity. Over the years, we have witnessed a growing fortification and armouring of Spanish borders, especially since 2005, during the Government of José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero, when the military devices deployed in the fences preventing the arrival of migrants caused several unprecedented injuries and deaths.
To the injuries caused by the fences, we should also add the police violence, the brutality and misconduct and the so called “hot returns”.
ALL THESE OCCURS IN A CONTEXT OF STRUCTURAL AND SYMBOLIC VIOLENCE AND INSTITUTIONAL RACISM, FOCUSED ON THE CONTROL, SURVEILLANCE, DETENTION AND EXPULSION OF THE PEOPLE IN MOVEMENT
To the physical control measures, we should add the technological ones, mostly under the supervision of the Spanish Military police. These technologies include the “early movement detectors”; “flood and road lights”; “mobile cameras with optical and sound sensors”; “alarm lights and sirens”; or “the water pressure system with pepper spray”. In addition to these control systems, we should add anti-climb meshes that cover the outside of the fence and control towers placed at regular intervals.
Theses fencing devices cause injuries in many people when trying to climb it or as a result of falls. Both the organizations working in the Moroccan area and those working in Ceuta and Melilla mention that after an attempt to jump many people suffer severe, such as deep cuts, fractures, serious muscular injuries. Likewise, many people also end up injured as a result of the attacks of the Moroccan and Spanish military and police forces.
At the same time, the…
CurrentAffairs Get InvolvedFollow usSubscribe ShockMonitor Research Team will participate at the seminar: COMPANIES, CONFLICTS AND HUMAN RIGHTS Tuesday, 29th May 2018 10-14 am ICIP (Institut Català Internacional per la Pau) – C. Tapineria, 10, 1a planta, 08002...