European Court of Human Rights legalizes expulsion of migrants

The European Court of Human Rights has found that Spain did not violate the European Convention on Human Rights when it expelled two men from the Spanish enclave of Melilla to Morocco.

The European Court of Human Rights, based in Strasbourg, ruled unanimously and without the right to appeal, that the expulsion carried out by the Spanish authorities of two sub-Saharan citizens to Morocco shortly after a massive arrival of migrants into the city of Melilla, in 2014, complies with the law and did not violate the human rights of those people.

The ruling states that "the plaintiffs put themselves, in fact, in an illegal situation" by deciding "not to use the legal procedures that existed to enter Spanish territory legally." The 17 judges went even further in their considerations, saying that the expulsion of the migrants was "a consequence of their own conduct", thus making the victims guilty of their own fate.

The expulsion of the two emigrants was condemned in the first instance, but it was appealed by the Spanish Government, presided at that time by right wing Mariano Rajoy. The Spanish Socialist Workers Party condemned the events at the time and and the expulsion of the migrants, however the new executive led by socialist Pedro Sánchez, did not result in the abandonment of the appeal to the Court of Strasbourg.

The appeal of the Spanish Government has had the open support of France, Italy and Belgium, and opens the door to its application at EU level, in fact legalizing the expulsions of emigrants who have arrived on European soil, without establishing its time or precise circumstances.

The European court seem to have no concerns about the fate, physical integrity or human rights of the expelled people, aspects that are not contemplated in their sentence, and in that sense it would also allow the expulsion of migrants to neighboring countries, such as Morocco, Libya or Turkey , who are constantly denounced for their mistreatment, imprisonment and reprisals against migrants on their way to the EU.