Friday, August 12

Justice condemns the Government for the expulsion of minors from Ceuta to Morocco last year

The First Section of the Contentious-Administrative Chamber of the Superior Court of Justice of Andalusia (TSJA) has rejected the first of the two appeals filed by the Government Delegation in Ceuta and the regional Executive against the first instance ruling that, the On February 14, it declared illegal the return of 55 unaccompanied Moroccan minors to their country outside the provisions of the Regulations of the Immigration Law. This conviction comes in full controversy over the massacre at the Melilla fence.

The Chamber “supports the substantive pronouncement” of Court number 1 of Ceuta and ratifies that “the acts of the defendant Administration [la Delegación del Gobierno] They made it impossible to monitor the traceability of the return measures that it applied.”

“His material action, exempt from the minimum required procedural guarantees, averted an objective situation of relevant risk for the physical or moral integrity of the minors affected by the return measures that the appellants do not distort,” he remarks.

The Delegation and the City tried to excuse their behavior again in their appeals by appealing the “humanitarian emergency” situation caused in Ceuta by the border crisis in May and the existence of a bilateral Agreement between Madrid and Rabat of 2007 for the “assisted return ” of unaccompanied minors, but in the eyes of the TSJA, the “sudden, massive and illegal” nature of the migratory avalanche, within the framework of which the expelled minors had entered Spanish territory, “in no way authorized the Kingdom of Spain to excuse their submission to the rule of law”. The Delegation and the City.

“The Government Delegation in Ceuta, in addition to not individualizing the return files for each affected minor, omitted all the essential procedures and procedural precautions that must be complied with for repatriation” that is included in the Spanish legislation that the 2007 Cooperation Agreement between Spain and Morocco in which the express return of the children was supposedly covered, expressly requires compliance.

The return of minors

The judgment under appeal imposed on the General State Administration the obligation to “adopt the necessary measures” to achieve “the return of minors [no acompañados] who were effectively repatriated” and in whose name the first demand for the protection of fundamental rights was formulated by the Raíces Foundation and Coordinator of Neighborhoods, a total of 8, although the Delegation warned that it would not accept the verdict until it was final, to which could still appeal to the Supreme.

Raíces explained this Thursday that “the appeal filed by the same two administrations against another ruling on 12 other children in similar circumstances is still pending resolution.” Pending resolution by the Contentious-Administrative Court number 2 of Ceuta, another appeal follows on behalf of 7 more minors.

The president of the Coordinator of Neighborhoods, Javier Baeza, has valued that the ruling of the TSJA “reminds the authorities that there can be no cuts in Children’s Rights” and has warned that “now it remains to restore the damage caused to the affected children, rebuild their trust and make sure something like this doesn’t happen again.” For the entity’s lawyer, Patricia Fernández, “the pronouncement of Justice is clear: border control cannot be an excuse to exempt the application of the Law: neither in Ceuta in August 2021, nor in Melilla in June 2022”.

“It is frustrating to verify that public administrations continue to violate the fundamental rights of migrants and especially of children who arrive alone in Spain and it fills us with impotence that this continues to happen despite the multiple judicial pronouncements that, on this matter, matter, we obtained more than 12 years ago and the content of which our different governments refuse to assume”, pointed out the president of the Raíces Foundation, Lourdes Reyzábal.

The expulsion of 55 unaccompanied Moroccan minors to Morocco in August last year is also pending whether or not Ceuta’s Investigating Court accepts or rejects the complaint filed by the Prosecutor’s Office against the Government delegate, Salvadora Mateos, and the Vice President of the City Government, Mabel Deu (PP), for an alleged continued crime of prevarication for acting “knowingly being in violation of the legal system” to carry out the repatriations until they were stopped by court order.