Neighborhood Coordinator will request the return of minors repatriated to Morocco in 2021 after the Supreme Court ruling

05/17/2021 A migrant person walks along Tarajal beach, on May 17, 2021, in Ceuta (Spain). Spain has mobilized the Army in the city after the entry of more than 5,000 Moroccans in 24 hours. POLITICS Antonio Sempere – Europa Press

The NGO Coordinadora de Barrios will request the return of unaccompanied minors repatriated from Ceuta to Morocco in August 2021 after this Monday the Supreme Court confirmed that their return was illegal because the Spanish authorities failed to comply with the procedures provided for in the Law of Immigration and the European Convention on Human Rights, which prohibits “collective expulsions of foreigners.” The lawyer for the popular accusation, Patricia Fernández Vicens, has assured in statements to Europa Press that the NGO will ask the Ceuta court that sentenced the Government Delegation in Ceuta and the autonomous city to execute the sentence “in its strict terms.” The lawyer has explained that they will present an execution incident in which they will ask that the eight minors who took their case to the Supreme Court be allowed to return to Spain. According to her, they will demand that a visa be processed for their return to Spanish territory. Fernández Vicens has insisted that the ruling handed down this Monday by the Supreme Court “is very clear” in pointing out that the Government’s way of proceeding was contrary to the rights of children and current legislation. For the lawyer of the Coordinadora de Barrios, it is “especially important that the court has considered that the returns of August 2021 are considered collective returns of those prohibited by the European Convention on Human Rights, and that these were of extraordinary gravity because “affected the right to physical and moral integrity of children.” In this sense, she has stressed that the resolution of the high court “obliges the State to comply from now on with all the guarantees recognized in the legislation in cases of repatriation of minors, without the possibility of exceptions to their application.” THE SUPREME’S SENTENCE In the ruling, reported by Europa Press, the Supreme Court has established that “the return of unaccompanied minors in an illegal situation in Spain cannot be based solely on the Agreement between the Kingdom of Spain and the Kingdom of Morocco (. ..) of 2007, but Spanish legislation on the matter must also be adjusted, especially with regard to procedural guarantees”. For the high court, the authorities – as in any other administrative action – should have directed their actions “through the corresponding administrative procedure, as a guarantee of the legality and correctness of their decision and as a safeguard of the interests of the affected”. The magistrates have dismissed the appeals of the Government Delegation in Ceuta and the Government of the autonomous city, who alleged last week in a hearing that the returns took place within the framework of a “genuine invasion” and that Spain’s actions were It relied on the agreement signed with Rabat in 2007, which is why it defended that the rights of minors had not been violated. The Contentious-Administrative Chamber has rejected these arguments and has agreed with the criteria of the Public Prosecutor’s Office and the Neighborhood Coordinator in considering that the rights to physical and moral integrity of the returned minors were indeed violated. As explained by the court, said violation took place at the moment in which they were placed in “serious danger of suffering a physical or mental illness” when “the Administration did not take into account the interests of the minors, much less a verification of their individual circumstances. The Supreme Court has assured that it is not possible “to justify a lax interpretation of the law, much less a dispensation from its compliance, invoking exceptional circumstances.”

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