Sudanese Refugee Urges Urgent Transfer to Spain
One year after seeking international protection, a prerequisite for asylum, at the Embassy of Spain in Rabat, lawyers for the Sudanese man Basir (a pseudonym for security reasons) have urged the National Court for his urgent transfer to Spanish territory due to the silence and inactivity of the Government. Basir, who has tested the right to asylum in Spain through the unprecedented legal avenue of requesting it at a diplomatic mission, entered irregularly into Melilla during the assault on the border fence on June 24, 2022, in which more than 1,700 sub-Saharan Africans participated before being forcibly returned to Moroccan territory.
The lawyers specializing in human rights defense, Arsenio G. Cores and Adilia de las Mercedes, who provide free legal advice to the Sudanese refugee, filed a precautionary measure last week before the Second Section of the Administrative Court of the National Court to urge his urgent transfer to Spain. The lawyers argue that Basir is being persecuted in Sudan for religious reasons and has suffered torture in Morocco, where he faces a serious and real risk due to the inhumane and degrading treatment he received at the Melilla border fence in 2022, as well as the harassment faced by sub-Saharan refugees in the Maghreb country. The absence of a response from the Spanish Embassy in Rabat to the request submitted under Article 38 of the Asylum Law was already appealed to the same court in September.
The government has defended in different forums that the formula provided for in that provision — the request filed at an embassy — was the desirable way to enter Spain legally compared to resorting to jumping a fence. However, the Administration manages protection requests in diplomatic delegations abroad in a restrictive and discretionary manner. Since Basir was interviewed last March by two officials from the Spanish Embassy in Rabat, his lawyers have not received any communication. The sources consulted at the embassy in the Moroccan capital said on Friday that they were unaware of the status of the proceedings. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs stated that it could not provide information due to the confidentiality of such cases.
Contacted in a Moroccan city (which he declined to specify for security reasons) where he remains awaiting a resolution to his request, Basir assures in a text message exchange that it is very difficult and frustrating to wait in a country like Morocco, where you feel unsafe all the time. The Sudanese refugee denounces the climate of racism in which he lives. In the past year, nothing has changed. Life has been very difficult, without work or medical attention, and on the street, Basir recalls, who admits that he considered moving to Tunisia to board a boat towards the coast of Italy. But I decided to wait and follow the procedure, according to my lawyers, because I believe I have the right to be transferred to Spain legally, he concludes, after entering Melilla in June 2022 and being returned to Morocco along with 470 other people. The Ombudsman maintains that the expulsions were illegal.
In the assault on the Barrio Chino border post of the autonomous city, 37 sub-Saharan Africans died and another 76 are still reported missing, according to unofficial investigations by NGOs. Rabat has yet to update the death toll, which it set at 23, despite the complaints from dozens of families who have not heard from their loved ones since that fateful June 24. The incident, which will be remembered for the brutality exercised by Moroccan agents who beat the jumpers and left the injured piled up for hours, has been recorded as one of the most tragic on a European land border, but neither Morocco nor Spain have taken responsibility for the deaths.
Basir, the Sudanese man who has sought asylum in Spain from the Rabat Embassy, shows the letter sent to the Prime Minister.
Juan Carlos Sanz
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Letter to Pedro Sánchez
Basir had been fleeing death in Sudan for a decade and had been on an exodus through North African deserts for almost five years until he arrived in Morocco in July 2021 on his escape route to Europe. I was there. On June 24, 2022, I crossed the border, entered Melilla. The guards returned me to Morocco, but I have the right to seek asylum in Spain, he asserted six months ago to EL PAÍS, when he wrote a letter to the Prime Minister, Pedro Sánchez. I will continue fighting for my rights as long as my exhausted strength allows me to… the fatigue becomes unbearable every day, he wrote back then.
Basir is a Christian. He was declared dead a decade ago, when he was only 15 years old, along with the bodies of his father and brother in the conflict-ridden region of South Kordofan. I live with other Sudanese people who speak the same language as me. We sleep wherever we can. On the streets, most of the time. Sometimes in an abandoned building. We change locations often, he described his situation in Morocco.
I was expelled from Spanish territory when all I wanted was to request asylum. Luckily, I am still alive, he detailed in his letter to Sánchez. I will wait as long as it takes. I trust that the Spanish government will understand. I have no chance of returning to my country. I didn’t choose to be the person I am today: a refugee victim of religious discrimination, he explained back then.
I live in fear and anguish, Mr. President, he concluded the letter to the Spanish president. I have seen in the news that Spain is a country that has welcomed thousands of Ukrainians fleeing war, and I wonder, is it the color of my skin that prevents me from receiving the same treatment?
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Resumen de la noticia
– El sudanés Basir ha solicitado protección internacional y asilo en la Embajada de España en Rabat.
– Sus abogados han instado a la Audiencia Nacional a su traslado urgente a territorio español debido a la inactividad del Gobierno.
– Basir está siendo perseguido en Sudán por motivos religiosos y ha sufrido torturas en Marruecos.
– Las autoridades españolas han defendido la vía de solicitar asilo en una embajada como una forma legal de ingresar al país.
– Basir ha denunciado las dificultades que enfrenta en Marruecos y espera que se resuelva su solicitud de asilo en España.