6 October 2005 Edition

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Migrants killed in Spanish enclave

out 1,000 would-be immigrants launched separate assaults on the border-crossing at Melilla, another Spanish enclave, where they were violently repelled by Spanish police.

Spokesperson for SOS Racism, Diego Lorente, has criticised the fact that the only policy applied by the Madrid administration has been to get "Morocco to look after them" when the rights of these migrants are being violated on a daily basis. "It is because Morocco deports them back to Algeria's dessert, prosecutes them, tortures and rapes them in the police stations, that they want to cross into Spain whatever it takes. In dinghies or jumping the fence. One of them told me that he would rather die in the sea that to be caught by Moroccan police," said Lorente.

Some of those attempting to scale the fence last week accused Spanish authorities of deploying heavy-handed tactics, amid reports that some of the victims had died after being hit by rubber bullets.

& the urgent need for a genuine and effective management of migration issues," said EU Justice and Home Affairs Commissioner Franco Frattini. Ceuta and Melilla are seen by immigrants, notably from sub-Saharan Africa, as a gateway to Spain, and hence the rest of Europe. Some 12,000 have already converged on the enclaves this year.

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