15 February 2016, Berlin

Tear Gas, Rubber Bullets and Fences: Did Europe Learn Anything from its Deaths in Ceuta?

15 February 2016, 12:00 am

On 6th February 2014, the Spanish Guardia Civil opened fire on hundreds of migrants who attempted to circumvent the fence between Morocco and the Spanish enclave of Ceuta by swimming. This operation of “protection of EU’s external borders” with rubber bullets and tear gas resulted in the deaths of at least 15 migrants and the injuries of many more. A decision to close the criminal investigation into these deaths was taken by a Spanish court. Though this decision is under appeal, the Spanish practice of brutal and unlawful push backs has established itself as a blue print of external border protection in the EU. Fences were built in Hungary and Bulgaria, and reports of human rights violations at these borders increase.
Liliane Zebaze was one of the people in the waters in Ceuta in 2014. She will reflect on the events and comment on the Spanish criminal investigation and the lack of participation of any of the victims and witnesses.
Aboubakar Sidibe spent months in the informal camps of Mount Gurugu, near Melilla, raising his voice for the rights of migrants and refugees.
Mikel Konate, journalist from Madrid, spent months documenting the situation at the Melilla border. He has also worked at the Hungarian–Serbian border and on the Greek island of Lesbos. He will give his perspective as a journalist on these borders.
Hanaa Hakiki is a lawyer and works as a legal adviser in ECCHR on the Migration Project as part of the International Crimes and Accountability team.


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