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IMMIGRATION

NGO denounces beating of would-be migrant at Melilla border

Video footage shows man being hit repeatedly after coming down from fence

A non-profit group from Melilla has released footage of an undocumented migrant being repeatedly beaten by Civil Guard officers after coming down from the border fence separating this Spanish exclave in northern Africa from Moroccan territory.

The five-minute video was shot on Wednesday, when more than 200 African immigrants attempted a coordinated assault on the fence.

Representatives of Prodein, the association that recorded the scene, said that the beaten immigrant lay unconscious on the ground. Footage shows officers apparently trying to wake him up, then hauling him back to the Moroccan side.

According to Prodein, the migrant is a citizen of Cameroon and some sources have reported him as dead while others say he is alive.

This is the second video released by Prodein this week. Two earlier recordings by the same group led to an investigation into Ambrosio Martín Villaseñor, the top Civil Guard official in Melilla, for allegedly returning illegal migrants to Morocco in violation of international treaties and national legislation that set out steps to be taken before deportation can take place.

“This government has no ethics,” said José Palazón, president of Prodein. “It is displaying a tremendous lack of morality and of respect.”

In recent months, this group has also released footage of Moroccan police beating undocumented migrants while the Civil Guard looks on.

On Wednesday, the government delegation in Melilla said that 300 immigrants had attempted to jump over the security fence. Five Civil Guard officers and five migrants sustained injuries and required medical assistance, said the release. Only three people made it over the fence.

Footage shows officers apparently trying to wake him up, then hauling him back to the Moroccan side

In July of this year, more than 1,000 people attempted to cross over into Melilla in a coordinated run on the fence, which has been fitted with an anti-climb mesh. At that time, around 3,500 undocumented Africans had managed to enter the city, a 234-percent rise from the same period the year before.

The Spanish government says that more than 10,000 people have attempted to cross into Spain at Mellila and Ceuta, the other Spanish exclave on the northern coast of Africa. Spain is treating the issue as a crisis situation and has asked for cooperation from Morocco and the European Union.

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