One Year

It is about one year ago that 15 migrants drowned on the shores of Ceuta and as a reaction to this incident, in the context of a series of other on-going grave human rights violations at the external frontiers and within the European Union, Alignment for Dignity came into being.

Reading recent headline news, it is hard to believe that one year has passed and the situation at the Spanish-Moroccan border has not gotten better but remarkably worse. More people died, more people have experience aggravated police violence and have been left with little or no medical support, more people are hungry and cold every day while living in the migrants camps located in the forest outside the Spanish enclaves Ceuta and Melilla on the North African continent.

Concurrently, we observe the rise of right-wing national parties in almost every European country as well as the steady growth of their supporters.

It is even harder, if not next to impossible, to fathom that last week, the Moroccan authorities violently raided and burnt down the migrant camps located in the forest outside the Spanish enclaves Ceuta and Melilla.

This is a step of aggression towards vulnerable individuals. They are vulnerable due the European Union’s increasingly security-focused refugee and asylum policy setting the minimum standards for Member States to adhere to while allowing for on-going grave human rights violations and lack of minimum, fundamental protection.

It is repeatedly overlooked that those individuals have been vulnerable before those above-mentioned policies were made that are meant to protect them. It is a fact that, due to civil wars, or Western exploitation of resources in their home country resulting in corruption and poverty, many individuals found themselves in an extremely vulnerable situation in which their own state was either unwilling or unable to protect them: This constitutes the sole reason why they left their home country and their loved ones. This is why they are here. They are here for a reason.

The steps of aggression deriving from the EU’s increasingly restrictive border policy is yet another step in the wrong direction.

The wording of the news reporting on Moroccan authorities violently raiding the migrant camps and mass-transporting them in buses further away from the European border, according to some sources, close to the Algerian border in Southern Morocco and a field by Kariat Arkmane around 20km outside of Nador, where their papers are taken away and where they are held in houses while the authorities prepare their deportation back to a country that in most cases caused their vulnerability in the first place, uncomfortably reminds of a European past we pretend we have dealt with.

Is there an invisible war aiming to discriminate one particular group on grounds of race?

Is there a silent war, whose most forceful attack up until this day was meant to be covered up by the commencement of a Spanish court case investigating the involvement of Spanish security forces in relation to the deaths of 15 migrants on the shores of Ceuta in February last year?

Are we meant to be under the impression that by the commencement of that case Spain is showing that they will bring those who violated the human rights and physical integrity of migrants to justice?

It is all too clever instigated by the European Union: Presenting its own Member State Spain as the one promising improvement of this horrific situation by the commencement of this court case while simultaneously agreeing to facilitate the mobility partnership with Morocco by paying Morocco millions of Euros in order for Morocco to “take care” of the migrants problem. The facilitation of the agreement resulted in the Moroccan home office and the Ministry of Immigration announcing the complete evacuation of the migrant camps outside the Spanish enclaves.

Ironically, the European Union, which was founded after the Second World War to ensure peace within the European continent, seems all to caught up in economic interest in order to see that their current refugee and asylum policies, while violating international treaty obligations to which Members States agreed to either by ratification or by means of customary international law, bring us back to politics of persecution.

– Leonie and Lily

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