en castellano abajo/ Spanish below
Melilla and Ceuta are Spanish enclaves in Morrocco, remnants of colonialism, like Gibraltar in Spain. As well as the 1000’s of adults impaled or trapped on the 5 metre fences some children manage to slip through into Europe’s shameful fortress. The group Prodein is trying to help them.
PRODEIN statement against repression in Melilla
About 60 children live in the streets of Melilla hoping to catch the boat to take them to Europe, where they believe that a better future awaits them. Unaccompanied Alien Minors (MENA) are subjected every day to different types of violence that violate their rights and undermine their dignity and destroy their ‘childhood’.
1. INSTITUTIONAL VIOLENCE from thethe City of Melilla and the Minister of Social Welfare, Maria Antonia Garbin with a campaign to incarcerate the children in the juvenile prison “Fuerte Purisima” where there is abuse, threats and torture by those who claim to be educators, material and food shortages, lack of information, lack of health care and lack of schooling.
2. DOCUMENTARY VIOLENCE: Children are deceived by red tape and loopholes whereby the same Ministry of Social Welfare precludes any proceedings and blocks the children from documenting themselves after the relevant 9 months.
3. POLICE VIOLENCE: This violence is more accepted than denounced, becoming the normal practise by those who should be responsible for their safety: beatings, humiliations, threats and forced deportation to Morocco are some of the obstacles that the street children face every day.
4. VIOLENCE AMONG EQUALS: True pitched battles with the youths of the Cañada, Rastro and Monte María Cristina barrios of Melilla) who strive for a higher level in the hierarchy and maintain their social status everyday reaffirming their identity.
5. SOCIAL VIOLENCE: where oppression, authoritarianism and discrimination appears. This type of violence accompanies daily interactions of an invisible form, causing great social and media impact and having serious consequences for community life.
from all the above information we conclude two things:
* There is an institutional abandonment and failure of current social policies in responding to the needs of street children.
* There is impunity for the actions of the State Security Forces and the institutions of the City of Melilla by which they violate the rights of children without having to answer to anyone.
We ourselves were able to experience the tip of the iceberg of this violence and institutional neglect last May 27. After learning of the death of Oussama who fell from the cliffs under the lighthouse where, days before the City of Melilla decided to install fences that impede (not prevent) access to the cliff. It’s a place where you climb down to try and jump ship -as other less dangerous places are closed by thge police presence 24 hours a day -.
For this reason, the NGO Pro Rights of the Child (PRODEIN) decided to honour the pain and support the street children with the completion of two banners that would serve as a tribute and farewell to Oussama. During the afternoon, our activity was interrupted several times by the State Security Forces, who eventually ended up leaving the place.
To our surprise, on June 26 we received a letter from the Government Office in which we are required to pay a fine of € 1,500 for disorderly conduct.
As if this were not enough, on July 1 at 00:45 am, when we met with some of the children in the square there appeared several patrols of Civil Guards attempting to take them to the ‘detention facility’ and under continuous threats of being beaten up if they remained in the street.
Another officer of the Civil Guard, threatened us and that with the entry into force of the new “gagging laws” on July 1st we can be accused of subversive assembly and disorderly conduct, now a serious crime, since it is the Civil Guards himself who make the value judgment of what is serious disturbance of public safety.
We will not obey the laws punishing poverty, solidarity and protest.
Against the great repression imposed by state institutions!
Comunicado de PRODEIN contra la represión en Melilla
Alrededor de 60 niños habitan las calles de Melilla esperando alcanzar el barco que los lleve a Europa, donde creen que les espera un futuro mejor. Los Menores Extranjeros No Acompañados (MENA) son sometidos cada día a distintos tipos de violencia que vulneran sus derechos, atentan contra su dignidad y dañan con terribles consecuencias su “infancia”.