Access denied to the detention center (CIE) of Aluche (Madrid)

As part of the Open Access Now campaign, promoted by the networks Migreurop and European Alternatives to demand transparency on foreigners detention sites, a delegation composed of the MEPs Raül Romeva i Rueda (Greens/ALE, Iniciativa per Catalunya Verds), Ska Keller (Greens/ALE, Germany), Ulrike Lunacek (Greens/ALE, Austria) and Rebecca Harms (Greens/ALE, Germany), a national parliamentarian (Laia Ortiz, Izquierda Plural/ICV), an independent parliamentarian (Mauricio Valiente, IU), the civil society organisations SOS Racismo, CEAR and Acsur and several media (La sexta noticias, Cadena Ser, El País, El Mundo, Europa Press, presented a request for access the CIE of Aluche to visit the center, meet the administrative and medical staff and, in a confidential manner, migrant detainees.

This visit by representatives of the European Parliament, of the Spanish Assembly and of the Assembly of Madrid, accompanied by civil society, was even more important following the announcement on December 6 by the Commissioner Malmstrom on the implementation in 2013 of a study the European Commission on the application in Member States of the Directive on common standards and procedures for returning illegally staying third-country nationals.

The denial and the willingness of the government to limit access to only three MEPs and one parliamentarian of Madrid demonstrate the opacity surrounding the functioning of detention centers, repeatedly denounced by civil society, but also by international organizations and national institutions such as the Ombudsman, the Attorney General and the Committee for the Prevention of Torture. This opacity promotes the violation of the rights of detainees in these centers as these authorities, agencies and organisations have already shown and make them incompatible with democracy and the rule of law.

The discourse of the persons in charge of the CIE of Aluche continues to remind the prison system forgetting the fact that people who are maintained and deprived of their liberty there have only committed an administrative offense.

Despite some improvements implemented after several appeals, the conditions of the center are still deplorable.

Therefore, we express our complaint, that we will transmit to national and European bodies responsible for protecting the rights of citizens in order to demand the Spanish government to change this attitude of obstructionism and urge the immediate guarantee of the rights of detainees in the CIE and the right of civil society to exercise a vigilance on devices established in its name.

Madrid, May 10 2013

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