18:23 GMT16 June 2021
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    Far from punishing those responsible for the migrants' deaths, Spain has recently said it will pass a law to legalize on-the-spot deportations at its borders.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — Spain has made little progress in curbing border guards' brutality toward thousands of migrants who risk their lives every year in an attempt to cross into the Spanish exclave of Ceuta in North Africa, HRW said Wednesday.

    In a report published Wednesday, the Human Rights Watch (HRW) pressure group said there has still been no justice for the deaths of 15 migrants in the waters off Ceuta last February.

    "These were horrific deaths, and very serious allegations of wrongdoing by the Guardia Civil [Civil Guard]," HRW's senior Western Europe researcher Judith Sunderland said in the report.

    Spain admitted that in last year's incident, its Civil Guard troops fired rubber bullets and teargas at the water while migrants were attempting to swim to Ceuta from neighboring Morocco.

    Many African migrants repeatedly attempt crossings into the autonomous city of Ceuta in mainland Africa. HRW said in the report that over the past year the Civil Guard was responsible for several other "instances of excessive use of force" on the border with Ceuta and also Melilla, which lies further to the east along the Moroccan coastline.

    Far from punishing those responsible for the migrants' deaths, Spain has recently said it will pass a law to legalize on-the-spot deportations at its borders.

    The UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) and other international organizations have condemned the move, stressing that migrants are fleeing conflicts and are persecuted in their home countries. The refugee agency has voiced concern about the rise in the Civil Guard's violence used to deter asylum-seekers.

    Related:

    Some 70 African Migrants Scale Fence Between Spain and Morocco: Police
    HRW Calls on Spain to Abandon Bill Restricting Freedom of Speech, Assembly
    Human Rights Watch Urges Spain to Drop Amendment to Immigration Law
    Tags:
    migrants, Human Rights Watch, Judith Sunderland, Ceuta, Melilla, Spain, Morocco
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