The overcrowding of the asylum rooms in Barajas is increasing

The overcrowding of the asylum rooms in Barajas is increasing, 330 migrants are detained

The overcrowding of the asylum rooms in Barajas is increasing

Two escape attempts in two consecutive weeks by more than twenty asylum seekers detained at the Adolfo Suarez-Madrid Barajas airport have shown that the “overcrowding” situation they face is not only not improving, but is actually getting worse has. The conditions in which 330 men, women and children, as well as the four police officers who were previously responsible for their care on shift duty, are found this Monday are “dignified” and “desperate”, as the Single Police Union denounces (SUP), majority in the body. “At dawn on the twelfth night, nine people escaped by breaking down a false ceiling; and this Saturday, at dawn, 17 people went away and broke a window,” say sources close to the police investigation launched after the escape of these 26 immigrants from the unauthorized room number 4 of Madrid airport in Terminal 4. Only one, who was injured during the escape and was arrested by the officers while he was running on the slopes this Saturday. According to sources close to the investigation, there is no trace of the rest.

The Ministry of the Interior assures that, given “the specific increase in applications in recent weeks, two new offices have been created to carry out interviews, a third room has been opened to serve applicants and the number of National Police personnel and establishment staff has been increased was.” and return office.”

However, this situation is neither new nor “specific”, since at the end of December the heads of the investigative courts 6, 19 and 20 of Madrid, in charge of judicial control of the inadmissibility rooms at the Adolfo Suárez airport in Madrid, -Barajas demanded the Ministry of the Interior and called on the National Police to take “urgent” measures to put an end to the “overcrowding” of the 150 applicants for international protection – including 19 minors – who were being held in different rooms of the Madrid airport while their legal situation was clarified.

According to the police, those who have now fled, all of them men, are “almost exclusively North Africans”. “They had to wait an average of a month for their applications to be processed because they hand over their documents when they enter Spanish soil and then their countries do not recognize them as citizens and they cannot be sent back,” sources continue to explain.

The continued influx of asylum seekers and the lack of material and human resources, complained of by both police and judges, have led to a worsening of overcrowding in recent weeks. This Monday, 42 women and children were in the so-called “Room 2” in Terminal 2, what Interior called the “third room”. “They are lying on inflatable mattresses, in a room with no ventilation or windows, with only one bathroom and no shower,” police sources said. “Diapers and food gather in the same place and cockroaches and bed bugs roam freely,” they point out.

No cleaning or hygiene

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The cleaning, which according to police sources was carried out by the Red Cross together with the assistant, will not be carried out “because the company has subcontracted it to another cleaning company who has assured that it will not enter the room until it is fumigated.” ” them in detail. Agents present at the crime scene. The Red Cross, in turn, says that “they do not comment on this,” that their work is “psychosocial in nature,” but does not clarify whether this includes cleaning the accommodation of these asylum seekers: “No. I could tell you,” replies a spokesman for the NGO.

In the other two rooms with a capacity for an average of 50 people, there were 166 people this Monday, one in Terminal 4 (Room 4), from which 17 people escaped this Saturday, and the other nine on Epiphany Friday. And 92 people in Room 3 in Terminal 1. “It is impossible for four agents to guard three rooms separated by these distances in different terminals where people are not detained but their capacity is limited.” Explain police sources who admit that as a result of the second escape, they have sent “some reinforcements and more staff from the asylum department to process applications, but they are equally overwhelmed,” they say.

“Mixing women and men”

In addition, according to the same sources, another 30 people entered this Monday, “who were already distributed among the three rooms, with women and men mixed,” it is said. A total of 330 people were waiting for their administrative situation to be resolved this Monday, “some may wait up to a month,” warn police sources and point out that “for example, power groups are also forming among the detainees.” “Nationalities” that can lead to conflicts that are difficult to control.

Already at the end of December, the judges considered that the conditions in which the detainees were found, “sleeping on mattresses on the floor, without conditions of health, hygiene and privacy,” violated their rights. And then the Interior Ministry announced that it would create more space at the airport for the arrival of migrants. This Monday, the window through which the 17 foreigners escaped on Saturday was still broken, “because it is up to the AENA to repair the infrastructure,” according to police sources.

According to the Ministry of Interior, “the Provincial Immigration and Border Brigade of the National Police and the Asylum and Refugees Office (OAR) of the Ministry of Interior continue to respond to applications for international protection received at the Adolfo Suárez Madrid Barajas Airport and adapt their personnel and provide on-demand material resources to respond to requests as quickly as possible.” According to the SUP, most refugees come from African countries such as Kenya, Senegal and now especially Morocco, as they take advantage of the opportunity to travel internationally while passing through the capital to apply for protection.

The police union insists on denouncing the “collapse”, the situation of “overcrowding and unhealthiness” of these spaces, “prepared to accommodate about 40 to 50 people and in which there have recently been more than 150”, they warn . Images of the location provided by police show cockroaches and bed bugs in the showers and bathrooms. In addition, they point out that “the facilities are completely deficient in terms of security measures”, with windows that can break, as happened on Saturday, or false ceilings that cannot be repaired and through which they enter the Twelfth Night have escaped.

The SUP has sent a letter to the Ombudsman: “The overcrowded and unsanitary conditions in the prohibited rooms, particularly in rooms 3 and 4, have reached a critical point of overcrowding due to an increase in applications for international protection,” it says her complaint was addressed to Ángel Gabilondo. “The negligence of AENA and the Red Cross, responsible for providing assistance and maintaining the cleanliness of asylum seekers, is aggravating the situation,” they emphasize. And they demand, among other things: “The appropriate conditioning of rooms 2, 3 and 4 with appropriate cleaning; Security measures to ensure the physical integrity of police officers and asylum seekers to prevent escape attempts and fights between them; as well as enough beds and showers to accommodate people during their hospital stay and solve their administrative problems.”

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