Spain: 15M does it again – another injustice averted
A young Algerian, Sid Hamed Bouzaine has been released from an immigration detention centre near Malaga. After even being made to marry his girlfriend of 2 years, Spanish Authorities have seemingly bowed to public pressure and accepted his claim to stay in the country given that reportedly three of his brothers have been killed by the state and the other one has disappeared.
The marriage was a suggestion of a representative of the Seville Government, Faustino Valdés, who is reported to have said in a meeting with Bouzaine’s legal representative that he could look favourably on the asylum request if he got married before the 16th of August at 6pm!
Participants in the 15M movement had been camped outside the detention centre in support of Bouzaine and his girlfriend and they erupted into applause and cheering when the marriage was announced.
Nevertheless other authorities in the Government took matters into their own hands and a representative from the Department of Asylum and Refugees announced the definite rejection of political asylum for Bouzaine.
An outraged 15M announcement insisted that the 28 year old Algerian, “fulfilled each and every one of the legal requirements” for an asylum bid.
According to the news service publico.es:
*Bouzaine is the youngest of a very large family. According to his own statement, his four older brothers belong to the group A.I.S. (Islamic Salvation Army) that has been fighting the Algerian regime until the year 2000 when they abandoned weapons and their members were given amnesty by the government. Nevertheless, some went on to form a Jihadist movement against the regime and continued the struggle. Three of his four brothers have been killed by the state and the other one is missing, according to Bouzaine’s lawyer.*
*The lawyer noted that the Algerian secret services then turned to Bouziane to infiltrate the armed group and held him on three occasions, on one of them he spent a few days without eating. Finally he was forced to accept orders to infiltrate in order to gain his own release. With this opportunity he caught a boat and crossed the sea to Spain in 2008. In Algeria he has left his mother and two sisters, whose situation has “deteriorated further” since the case was spotlighted by the press in his own country.*
15M in Malaga has been demanding the closure of the nearby Immigrant Detention Centre and took Bouzaine’s case to their heart. For four weeks they have been camping outside with various additional mobilisations to highlight the injustice, characterised by their usual nonviolence and humour.
*“They are ignoring the protection of human rights,”* and are, *“ready to send to his death a young innocent man with a Spanish family anxiously awaiting his release.”*
After all the protests and all the signatures gathered in the final days of the case, *“The movement has saved Bouzaine’s life,”* said his lawyer.