The Jesuit Immigrant Service has described the CIES (Foreign Internment Centers) as “hostile territory” in this year’s report, because “there is no humanity or human rights.” Elena Davara, a volunteer from the CIE visits team, says that the majority of immigrants from African countries who arrive in Malaga, Almería or Valencia land in “a dungeon”.

The foreigners held in these centers complain that they suffer both physical and moral police aggression and that they find “obstacles” to investigate and report them, which is valued by the SMI (Jesuit Immigrant Service) as an act that “goes against human rights”.

The organization assures that some immigrants are reluctant to report “for fear of reprisals from the agents who threaten them.” Ana Bosch, from Pueblos Unidos-FSJC and one of the authors of the report, indicates that “it is a problem that was detected a long time ago.” According to Bosch, in March 2021, three inmates at the CIES confessed to having suffered police attacks. However, there is no trace of them because the complaints “in practice are very scarce. There is still no protocol in the administrations”, she has contextualized.

Regarding the conditions of internment, the report states that part of this hostility is reflected in the deficiencies of the medical and health care that is carried out in the centers. “They are carried out in the presence of police officers, without an interpreter to translate the language and in which different forms of contempt are observed,” they say. A Ahmned, a Moroccan citizen interned in the Madrid CIE -located in Aluche- when he suffered from coronavirus was put in isolation for 23 days, “until he was expelled,” the report mentions.

Ahmned was only allowed out of the cell once a day to wash himself and was only allowed to use his cell phone for four hours a day. In addition, during her visits to the medical-health service, she did not have an interpreter, so her lack of knowledge of the language made it difficult to communicate with the health personnel, which “caused her intolerable psychological suffering,” she explains. .

The SMI emphasizes that it is “a question of rights.” “Inmates are vulnerable” and we are observers of potentially aggressive situations. We believe in the right of civil society to know what happens in the CIEs and hopefully all the actors understood our conviction and shared it”, declared Josep Buades, director of the Claver-SJM Association.

Elena Davara has remarked that she feels “frustration” knowing that even if they try, they can’t do anything. “The CIE is not a prison, it is a detention center, but it has no scheduled activity and the conditions have a negative impact on their mental health,” she said.

Therefore, they ask for a guarantee of access to mobile phones, distractions and supplies of food and drink for immigrants who are going to be expelled, especially if the waiting time is going to be prolonged over time.

Regarding the number of foreigners interned in the CIEs, a decrease has been detected that responds to three factors: the reduction in places due to the application of the Covid-19 prevention protocols, the reform works that some centers have undertaken, such as the one that is being carried out in “El Matorral”, in Fuerteventura (Las Palmas) and due to the inability to execute expulsions and returns to the States, since their borders were closed.

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