UNHCR Warns Spain Against Legalizing On-Spot Deportation at Border

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The United Nation Refugee Agency (UNHCR) warns Spain to follow the international law if it legalizes on-the-spot deportation of Sub-Saharan immigrants at the Ceuta and Melilla border fences, UNHCR Tuesday report said.

MOSCOW, October 28 (RIA Novosti) — The United Nation Refugee Agency (UNHCR) warns Spain to follow the international law if it legalizes on-the-spot deportation of Sub-Saharan immigrants at the Ceuta and Melilla border fences, UNHCR Tuesday report said.

“A person, trying to access Ceuta and Melilla irregularly and without the required documentation, would be automatically rejected and would not be entitled to the legal guarantees foreseen in national and EU law, relating to the right of an individual to seek asylum,” UNHCR stated in the report.

Spain’s modified Citizen Safety Law is currently in congress awaiting approval to permit “rejection at the border”, due to the increasing number of people, trying to cross the two fences – the only land borders between Europe and Africa. But UNHCR condemned the move, noting that the people were fleeing conflict and persecution, many from the Central African Republic, Mali and Syria.

UNHCR stipulated that any law implemented by Spain should be in line with the 1951 Refugee Convention, which recognizes the right for a person to seek asylum from persecution in another country.

"In this context, UNHCR stresses the importance of permitting access [to refugees] to territory to seek international protection," UNHCR spokesman William Spindler was quoted as saying in Geneva Peace Conference on Friday.

Spindler also highlighted that in 2013 around 4,200 people entered the border fences, but this year the number had risen to 5,000 with 2,000 coming from Syria.

Meanwhile, the UNHCR also showed concern about the growing use of violence to deter asylum-seekers at the border.

"UNHCR calls upon the Spanish authorities to ensure that no violence is exercised at the Spanish borders and that they are managed with full respect for human rights and refugee law,” Spindler was quoted as saying in the report while speaking at the peace conference.

According to the report, images from October 15 showed authorities using violence to prevent 200 people from crossing the border.

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