CEUTA – The 72-hour freeze on the deportation of Moroccan minors in Ceuta has been extended. This is until the regional court rules again on the matter. It concerns at least 9 young people who would be deported without being heard.
Last Friday, 45 underage refugees without an investigation file were repatriated from Ceuta ordered by the Ministry of the Interior. This raised questions from various organisations and government bodies. Because Spanish immigration law stipulates the deportation of Moroccan minors cannot be carried out until their story has been heard by official authorities.
Much criticism over the deportation of Moroccan minors
On Monday afternoon, the Ceuta court suspended the repatriation of those minors still remaining for a minimum of 72 hours. However, this period has now been extended until a final decision is made about what will happen to these migrants. Aid agency Save the Children, the Spanish Ombudsman, the Ministry of Social Law, the Public Prosecution Service, and the UN Human Rights Committee objected to Minister Grande-Marlaska’s decision to deport the 45 young people. Although according to the minister, these young people themselves indicated that they want to return to Morocco.
Final word to come from Ceuta court
According to sources from the Ceuta district council, the halted process could take longer than three days. Furthermore, the judge has indicated it may need more time to process all information in this case. This means the decision of the Spanish Supreme Court to continue the repatriation has not yet been heeded. The Supreme Court, like the Court of Ceuta, ruled that this case should be thoroughly investigated.
Ultimately, it concerns 9 underage Moroccans who were still in Ceuta at the time of the cessation. Their cases are now treated by the court as individual cases and not as a whole. Therefore, the decision of the judge in Ceuta will be telling because it will also apply to all other minor migrants who have not received a procedure.