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Spanish police filmed beating African migrant who crossed border into Melilla

Response was ‘proportional and legal,’ Spanish Interior Ministry tells Anadolu Agency

Alyssa McMurtry   | 04.03.2022
Spanish police filmed beating African migrant who crossed border into Melilla

OVIEDO, Spain 

Spain’s Interior Ministry denied wrongdoing on Friday after a video emerged that shows several Spanish agents beating a young African migrant who crossed the border fence into the Spanish enclave of Melilla.

The video, captured by Spain’s public broadcaster RTVE, shows a young man, who could be a minor, slowly climbing down the border fence that separates Spain’s African territory from Morocco.

Once the young man gets close to Spanish ground, agents begin striking him with their batons.

The migrant then drops off the fence and seven officers encircle him as they simultaneously beat him with their batons.

Once he is lying on the ground, the agents are seen hitting, kicking, and perhaps even stomping on the young migrant.

When asked about the specific video by Anadolu Agency, Daniel Campos de Diego, the communications director for Spain’s Interior Ministry, said that Spain’s armed forces “act within a legal framework and with criteria of appropriateness and proportionality.”

Responding to the question of whether the Interior Ministry, which is responsible for Spain’s security forces, will investigate the incident, or if there would be consequences for the officers involved, the ministry representative stated that “all of the various forces have mechanisms to constantly evaluate their own actions.”

The video has gone viral on social media, however, with hundreds of people pointing out the hypocrisy of these actions compared to Spain’s openness to hosting Ukrainian refugees.

“We rush to open the doors for white people fleeing war. As for the Black people, we beat them with sticks. How disgusting,” tweeted journalist Carmen Matas.

On Wednesday morning, before this incident of apparent police brutality, around 2,000 migrants tried to jump the border fence into Melilla.

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