by WorldTribune Staff, September 13, 2016
Border police used cranes to pluck a group of migrants off a razor wire fence after they had attempted to illegally enter Spain’s territory in northern Morocco.
Some 150 migrants were stranded for hours atop the six-meter-high fence at the Cueta border before being forcibly returned to Morocco, Spain’s thelocal.es reported.
Video footage showed dozens of people sitting atop the fences, some caught up in razor wire, as they attempted to reach European territory. Five men were taken to hospital in Ceuta to be treated for injuries while the remaining migrants were handed over to Moroccan authorities.
Ceuta, along with Melilla to the east, are Spanish territories on the northern coast of Morocco that together form the European Union’s only land borders with Africa.
Spain fortified fences in the two territories last year in response to a rise in the number of migrants attempting to scale the barriers from Morocco.
“They would have used violent methods against people of sub-Saharan origin who were returned to Morocco after spending several hours perched on the fence,” the UN’s agency on refugees (UNHCR) said in an appeal to Spain’s interim government.
“Refugees must be treated in an atmosphere free of violence and with full respect for their human rights,” the organization said in a statement on Sept. 12.