The Guardia Civil, Spain's border agents, are instructed to return intending migrants and asylum-seekers apprehended on the border-fence structure immediately to Morocco. Agents often place these individuals directly in the hands of the Moroccan police. These deportations have involved varying degrees of violence, both on the part of Spanish guards and of the Moroccan police officers to whom the migrants are returned.
Nevertheless, both in the media and in legal proceedings, Spain has sought to shift the blame for the violence at the border onto those who attempt to cross the border, alleging without any reliable evidence that "mafia networks" launch "violent attacks" on Spain and its agents. However, the evidence indicates the contrary; Guardia Civil agents and Moroccan police officers regularly resort to violence to carry out collective deportations.
For example, a video by Asociación Pro Derechos de la Infancia from 15 October 2014, shows several members of the Guardia Civil aggressively beating a defenseless young man, who is climbing down the fence, to the point of unconsciousness, prior to his deportation back to Moroccan territory. International institutions and NGOs alike have criticized both the immediate expulsions and the heavy institutionalized violence involved – especially after the Spanish government announced its plan to give the practice a legislative basis.
The Council of Europe's Commissioner for Human Rights, Nils Muižnieks, has on several occasions condemned the unlawful practice of the collective expulsions in the Spanish-Moroccan context. EU Home Affairs Commissioner, Cecilia Malmström, further qualified the practice as a "violation of EU legislation." The UN Special Rapporteur on Torture and the Council of Europe's Committee for the Prevention of Torture, both highlight their concerns regarding the associated danger of ill-treatment in the hands of Moroccan security forces during and after collective expulsions.
Despite resounding condemnation at the international and regional levels, Spain continues its collective deportations undeterred.