Thursday, December 1

Marlaska rejects the invitation of the European Parliament to talk about the deaths at the Melilla fence

Marlaska slammed the European Parliament. On July 14, the Committee on Liberties of the European Parliament (LIBE) decided to convene the Spanish Minister of the Interior to discuss the deaths at the Melilla fence, following a request by MEP Miguel Urbán (Anticapitalistas/The Left) supported by all groups. But, in the end, the minister will not appear, asserting his power to accept or not an invitation from the European Parliament. And, as reported by the European Parliament this Monday, the debate “on the incidents on the EU-Africa border in June 2022” has been scheduled for this Thursday (from 9:20 to 10:30), in which the Spanish minister had to participate. –the Spanish Commission for Refugee Aid (CEAR) and the Moroccan Association for Human Rights (AMDH) will participate– and that they were waiting for Marlaska to set the date.

The wounded from the jump to the Melilla fence that Morocco moved away from the border

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In those days, the members of the commission affirmed that the appearance would take place “as soon as possible”, although the parliamentary sources ruled out that it could be before October because the September agenda was already closed. However, weeks and months passed without any news of Fernando Grande-Marlaska.

This is so true that the coordinators of the political groups of the LIBE commission agreed that the president, Juan Fernando López Aguilar, send a formal letter to the Spanish minister, which happened on October 25. Two weeks after receiving that letter, Marlaska’s response received in Brussels at the end of last week is eloquent: “I think it is necessary to remember that last September 21 I had the opportunity to appear before the plenary session of the Congress of Deputies of Spain to offer explanations on the aforementioned incidents, with all members of the LIBE Committee being able to access the interventions that were made in said debate through the following link [que no funciona]:”

The minister tells López Aguilar that “it is convenient to bear in mind that, at the moment, two investigations into these events are open in Spain, one by the Ombudsman and another by the State Attorney General’s Office. None of them is yet finished and, hoping that the conclusions reached by both institutions will be of interest to everyone, it seems appropriate to wait for their completion”.

Indeed, the Ombudsman has questioned the version of the Ministry of the Interior on the Melilla tragedy. Ángel Gabilondo’s team considers that the official images, to which he has accessed, show that the Civil Guard was aware of the “risky situation” in which the migrants, most of them Sudanese refugees, found themselves, who were “crowded” and , in some cases, “crushed” at the access door to the Spanish side at the Barrio Chino border crossing, as detailed in the preliminary report that the agency has published in full.

The institution forcefully contradicts the explanations provided by the Interior and considers that the Civil Guard should have been aware of the danger in which hundreds of migrants and refugees were during the avalanche generated at the Chinatown border post on June 24. However, the Ombudsman emphasizes that there is no evidence that the Spanish authorities provided them with aid or health care.

At this point, it is when Marlaska clears the invitation to appear: “When this happens, and if necessary, the members of the Committee could be offered more complete information on the aforementioned events. Thanking you very sincerely for the invitation extended and keeping open, of course, this channel of communication, I send you a very cordial greeting”.

Next, after haggling with the European Parliament, Marlaska says goodbye, in his own handwriting: “At your entire disposal and the European Parliament, a big hug, Fernando Grande-Marlaska”.

“It is a real shame that Marlaska gives all kinds of excuses for not coming to give explanations to the European Parliament with more than 40 dead and 70 missing. It is totally inappropriate and unusual that Marlaska, is the first time that a Minister of the Interior in this legislature rejects an invitation to appear from the European Parliament”, declares Urbán, promoter of the request for the appearance of the minister: “It seems that something has to hide, Surely it has to do with the BBC investigation, it showed that part of the deaths occurred in Spanish territory, and that there was an omission of relief, which would make the Spanish Government an accomplice with Morocco in these deaths.

“With all the evidence that we now have on the table, Marlaska cannot continue to be a minister for another day,” said Urbán: “Sánchez should be fired immediately because otherwise every day he will be an accomplice in this ignominy. It is essential that his government partners stand up to this situation and demand his resignation. We cannot forget that Human Rights are not negotiable”.

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