Protest on the Canary Islands against asylum policy

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protests against the asylum policy

As migrant arrivals continue, sometimes with deadly outcomes, residents took to the streets in the main cities of the Canary Islands last Saturday to protest against the asylum policy and illegal immigration. Hundreds of people expressed their dissatisfaction with the increasing number of migrants reaching the archipelago in the Atlantic Ocean.

This year, over 19,000 migrants have already arrived on the Canary Islands. The call for protests was controversial, with a group of 40 lawyers and 60 social organisations requesting the demonstration be cancelled due to concerns it could incite hate and discrimination. However, their plea was dismissed by the Public Prosecutor’s Office.

Demonstrations in Tenerife and Gran Canaria

In Santa Cruz de Tenerife, influencer Rudy Ruymán was a prominent figure during the protest. According to RTVE, he stated that many injustices occur in the villages and neighbourhoods of the Canary Islands. He believes that criminals should be sent back to their countries. The protests began outside the building housing the government’s delegation in Tenerife, where a manifesto was read out. The demands included strengthening border security, using advanced technology to detect suspicious boats, and the swift repatriation of illegal immigrants.

In Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Iván González, spokesperson for the federation of neighbourhood associations, spoke about the need to prevent the Canary Islands from becoming the new Lampedusa of the Atlantic Ocean. He emphasised that the demonstration was not against anyone but against the failing immigration policy.

Increasing numbers and human tragedy

According to figures from the Ministry of the Interior, 19,257 migrants have arrived by boat in the Canary Islands up to June 30 this year, compared to 7,213 in the same period last year. The situation has led to increasing tensions and concerns among the local population.

Humanitarian crisis

The NGO Caminando Fronteras reported that in the first five months of this year, more than 5,000 migrants have died attempting to reach Spain by sea, with most fatalities occurring on the route to the Canary Islands.

Tragic arrivals

In the early hours of Sunday, a boat carrying 145 people arrived on the Canary Island of El Hierro, including a deceased woman. This was confirmed by sources from the Centro Coordinador de Emergencias and the emergency number 112 of the Canary Islands. The boat reached the port of La Restinga shortly after 1.00 am. Sources from the Red Cross reported that three of the passengers with various health problems were transferred to a hospital. Rescue services estimated there were about twenty women and several minors on board.

On Saturday, another boat arrived on El Hierro with a deceased young man and 55 survivors. Four of these survivors had to be taken to hospital for medical treatment.

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