Spain denies firing rubber bullets at migrants

2014-02-07 15:05
Moroccan police cars are seen on the border between the Spanish enclave of Ceuta and Morocco. (Fadel Senna, AFP)

Moroccan police cars are seen on the border between the Spanish enclave of Ceuta and Morocco. (Fadel Senna, AFP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

kalahari.com

  • Spain
    Take a trip to Spain with the ultimate guidebook. Now R444.00
    buy now

Madrid - Officials in Spain on Friday denied security forces had fired rubber bullets at migrants trying to swim to Spanish soil, after nine Africans drowned in the attempt.

The nine, including one woman, drowned on Thursday while trying to reach the Spanish territory of Ceuta from a beach in neighbouring Morocco. Other migrants tried to storm through a land checkpoint.

Spanish media cited migrants alleging that police fired into the sea where the Africans were swimming, as Moroccan and Spanish security forces tried to repel them from Ceuta.

Spanish authorities said police in Ceuta used rubber bullets to ward off the migrants but that they fired them in the air and did not target anyone directly.

"We did not use anti-riot equipment when the immigrants were in the water," said the head of the Spanish government's delegation in Ceuta, Francisco Antonio Gonzalez, speaking on the radio on Friday.

Spain's opposition Socialist Party called on Interior Minister Jorge Fernandez Diaz to appear in parliament to answer questions on the deaths of the nine migrants.

‘Very violent’

In Morocco the head of the Northern Human Rights Observatory, Mohamed Benaissa, told AFP on Thursday that several migrants were hurt as Spanish police tried to repel them. He said most of the migrants were from Cameroon.

The Spanish government delegation said late on Thursday that "rubber bullets were fired in the air, over a six-metre fence, never against people", by Spanish police to ward off the migrants trying to cross by land.

Morocco, under pressure from Spain, is trying to stem a stream of sub-Saharan African migrants, who head to its northern shores in a desperate quest to reach mainland Europe.

Ceuta and Spain's other north African enclave, Melilla, have the European Union's only land borders with Africa.

Hundreds of migrants headed out from the Moroccan town of Fnideq in a mass attempt to cross or circumvent the 6m fences that mark the land border with Ceuta on Thursday, officials on both sides said.

Gonzalez said the migrants were "very violent" and threw rocks at the Moroccan and Spanish security forces.

A spokesperson in Spain for the United Nations refugee watchdog UNHCR, Maria Jesus Vega, expressed "dismay and great sadness" at the deaths.

"It worries us that people who need international protection and are risking their lives to get to safe countries, are losing their lives trying to enter the countries of the European Union."

Read more on:    spain
NEXT ON NEWS24X

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
4 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
 

Zuma: Pray for peaceful polls

President Jacob Zuma has asked members of the Universal Church of the Kingdom of God to pray for peaceful elections on 7 May.

 
 

Latest elections multimedia

Why Jack Parow wants you to vote on 7 May
The ad the SABC doesn't want to air
Elections 2014 in one cartoon
This year's election posters
 
Traffic
Lottery
 
  • Friday Grabouw - 11:32 AM
    Road name: N2 Eastbound
    DELAYS between Sir Lowrys Pass and Grabouw
  • Friday Cape Town - 10:14 AM
    Road name: M3 Inbound
    EVENT - left lane closed between Rhodes Avenue and UCT
 
More traffic reports...
 

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Escape winter, head to Mauritius

Escape winter by spending 7 nights in Mauritius' tropical bliss from R13 215 per person sharing. Includes return flights, airport transfers and accommodation. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Get many eggs in one basket!

Gaming bundles: 2 Super Hits games for R99, 3 Disney games for R99 and more + exclusive accessory bundles only available on kalahari.com. While stocks last. Shop now!

25% off bestselling books!

The Real Meal Revolution by Tim Noakes, Jeffrey Archer’s Be Careful What You Wish for, Man’s Search for Meaning by Victor E. Frank and many more titles. Shop now!

Up to 25% off electronics

Buy top electronics and save up to 25%. Such as kalahari.com’s 1# selling product the gobii eReader, Patriot X Porter flash drive, Asus Nexus 7” 3G tablet, Samsung Galaxy SIII, Lenovo G580 Notebook and many more. Shop now!

DStv HD PVR Decoder now R949

The DStv HD PVR Decoder has further revolutionised the television experience with lifelike viewing, sharper images, more vibrant colours and precision picture quality. Now R949, save R550. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 30% off appliances & homeware

Save up to 30% on appliances and homeware this Easter! Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now.

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

BlackBerry Curve 9360

The BlackBerry Curve 9360 smartphone comes preloaded with Blackberry OS7...

From R1595.00

I'm shopping for:

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

You may find yourself putting in that extra effort on looking good and making an impression. ...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.