Those who escaped through Melilla

In 2014, more than 6,000 Syrians arrived in Melilla crossing the north of the African continent with the hope of reaching Europe in search of refuge. Melilla is a Spanish enclave on African soil. Three border controls separate Morocco from Spain and it is because of these controls that Syrian refugees have to cross to be able to request asylum. Many NGOs have denounced that the Moroccan authorities charge up to 1000 euros per person to let them go to Spain. Families are thus separated on both sides of the border. Once they get to Melilla, the asylum processes can be extended up to 9 months. During that time, Syrian refugees must stay at the CETI (temporary immigrant stay center). Its facilities are not prepared to accommodate families, there is no hot water, the queues to eat are extended up to 2 hours of waiting. During this year, the Syrians demonstrated every week to ask for their transfer to the peninsula, they even slept at the gates of the center in the middle of winter. The red card authorizes travel within Spanish territory, but only Ceuta and Melilla this authorization is restricted, so it will be the administration who decides when traveling to the peninsula. Many Syrians have reported sexual abuse by some center workers and mistreatment by security guards.