Immigrant return threatened after diplomatic row erupts
1 July 2006, MADRID — A diplomatic row has blown up after two Senegalese ministers criticised the way Spain repatriated 99 illegal immigrants.
1 July 2006
MADRID — A diplomatic row has blown up after two Senegalese ministers criticised the way Spain repatriated 99 illegal immigrants.
They claimed immigrants were "handcuffed and tricked" into returning from the Canary Islands to Dakar in Senegal.
José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero told the Spanish parliament that Madrid had reached an agreement with Senegal to repatriate 623 immigrants, which started on Wednesday.
But Farba Senghor, Senegalese minister of agricultura, attacked the way the migrants were returned, saying: "We deplore the conditions in which they were repatriated."
He claimed they were handcuffed and told by the Spanish authorities they were going to Malaga.
"We are going to begin talks on this with Spain," said Senghor.
"These immigrants should be repatriated with respect for international law."
Usmane Ngom, Senegalese minister of the interior, said: "If the Spaniards do not respect the dignity of immigrants, we will not go along with this agreement."
When the immigrants discovered they were not being taken to Malaga, they refused to get off the plane when it arrived at Dakar, Senegalese police said.
Spain has so far not commented.
[Copyright EFE with Expatica]
Subject: Spanish news