Revolt at Deportation Prison in Aluche, Spain

Published March 18, 2020

Spain

Prisoners of the Aluche Internment Center for Foreigners (CIE) staged a revolt this afternoon by climbing the roofs of the men’s patio roof and announcing the beginning of a hunger strike, concerned that some of them present symptoms of coronavirus.

They consider that they are not being “treated as human beings” in the face of the humanitarian emergency that the Spanish State is going through. “Having a worldwide pandemic, our state of health is in great danger. There are many inmates with symptoms of this pandemic known as coronavirus,” they denounced in a letter accompanied by two sheets that add up to almost a hundred and a half signatures.

They indicate that despite the symptoms that some present, they have not had “medical tests” to know if they are infected and, on the contrary, they are treated “with pain relievers.”

As reported by El Salto, on Thursday, March 12, the Center’s Directorate communicated to the human rights organizations that make visits to the detained persons, that they were suspended as a preventive measure against contagion. The same day, the Immigration Legal Guidance Service (SOJE-CIE) of the Madrid Bar Association was suspended. The only measure he was aware of inside the center was the placement of gel cans.

In this regard, they indicate that despite this symptomatology, they have not undergone “medical tests” to know if they are infected and, on the contrary, they are treated “with pain relievers.”

The complaint that has sparked the protests of the inmates has to do with the coming and going of the staff who work at the Center, both police, food and doctors. Also due to the absence of isolation measures, the cells house between 4 and 6 people and at the time of departure to the patio more than a hundred gather.

“The food we are receiving is prepared by personnel who are going home and returning and thus expose us to the coronavirus, because bars, restaurants, dining rooms, etc. are closed. Why do we, being internal due to administrative failure, have to expose ourselves to this, we ask for the right to equality?” they ask.

They also question whether the police personnel themselves cannot carry the virus since “they make their changes with complete normality, they go to their homes, in this way they can infect us,” they say, concerned.

The precautionary measure of internment in these centers has the sole purpose of having people located for expulsion. However, one of the consequences of the spread of the Covid19 virus pandemic has been the closing of borders. More than 60 countries, including Algeria, Morocco and Colombia, do not admit the entry of people from the Spanish State.

In these circumstances, the Campaign for the closure of the CIE has called for the immediate release of the prisoners and the closure of these centers. “It would be serious political irresponsibility, in a context of lack of control of the virus worldwide, that Spain, one of the five countries with the most infected people, continue with the deportations,” they accused last week in a press release.

In the last hours, there was the release of prisoners from different CIEs, some who were returning to their homes, others who were being housed in the so-called humanitarian attention squares in order to carry out their confinement. And in some cases, they have been left on the street. People were abandoned in the MercaMurcia industrial estate.