The 600 immigrants from Tunisia welcomed in the Temporary Stay Center for Immigrants (CETI) of Melilla They have started a hunger strike on Monday to vindicate their departure to the Peninsula after a group of fifty refugees were evacuated last week "despite spending less time in Melilla," they reported. The most extreme case is that of one of these Tunisians, who has sewn his lips with threads for wound points to avoid eating food or drinks.
However, the interior minister, Fernando Grande-Marlaska, announced this Monday, in the press conference that he offered on the crisis of the coronavirus, that the Tunisians have separate expulsion files open and that they are in talks with their country to proceed with the repatriation of these people to Tunisia "as soon as possible".
The protest began Monday morning with a sit-in inside the courtyard of the facility under the Ministry of Labor's Secretary of State for Migration with a banner that read 'We have CETI rights', and all of them occupying the area through which vehicles pass within these units.
The state security forces They made an appearance, equipped with helmets and shields, and formed a line at the door, as it could be seen in a video that the Tunisians themselves have sent to the Europa Press, but their intervention was not necessary because the protest was " peaceful".
These people assure that they will remain on hunger strike until their request for transfer to the Peninsula "because we have been in Melilla for more than a year," while assuring that others with less time have been selected for evacuation.
However, in the first group that came out last week, those who were chosen to leave the CETI of Melilla, in the first outing of this type that occurs since the state of alarm was decreed, have been called 'vulnerable groups', especially those made up of families of various nationalities, both from sub-Saharan Africa and from Asia and the Middle East.
The reception center currently houses more than 1,600 people, a situation that has led to complaints from organizations such as Amnesty International (AI), that last week denounced that "common areas" with such a number of people "are a dangerous focus where the risks of contracting this disease are multiplied". AI noted that "it is urgent and necessary that the Ministry of the Interior present a plan to decongest the center and speed up transfers to the Peninsula, especially for the most vulnerable people or those who already have international protection."