boat migrants released in ibiza
one of the migrants boats. photo j.a.riera, diario

Bureaucratic Chaos as Algerian Boat Migrants are ‘Released’ in Ibiza.

Following several days of chaos, there are signs that the authorities may be getting to grips with the handling of a rush of boat migrant landings in Ibiza over the last week.

In total, 53 migrants were taken into custody following their arrival from Algeria in several small boats. Though the Guardia Civil are confident that very few of the arrivals escaped their search, it is acknowledged that some slipped their net. One Algerian who had not been caught on landing was arrested on shoplifting charges in Ibiza Town yesterday as he tried to steal food.

The arrival of so many migrants at once filled the police cells to overcrowding. The Diario de Ibiza said, “Some sources said that the immigrants are well, that they are well cared for and that they even sing from time to time”.

Much of the problem has been due to the courts process with only one lawyer available, and the Arabic translator committed to other cases. The Balearic Bar Association yesterday reinforced the guard with three more lawyers to alleviate the situation.

One group of the migrants are being transferred to an immigration detention centre in Valencia on an army plane.

Released 18

However, with no further places apparently available in any of Spain’s detention centres, a further 18 of the migrants have been ‘released’ into the Ibizan populous. According to statements made, the migrants released are not being monitored in any way, nor is there any provision for accommodation or other needs, though they were given details of the Red Cross.

9 Minors

14 of the migrants have so far claimed to be minors. These men were all taken to Can Misses to have special medical tests designed to help determine an individual’s age as a result of what are believed to be a high number of claims by adults to be children in the knowledge they will receive better treatment and rights.

Of the 14 who claimed to be minors, the tests stated that 5 were in fact adults and 9 minors – though the tests are acknowledged to have high margins of error. The 9 minors will be immediately transferred to the Children’s Center of Sa Coma, however as the centre only has 20 beds, space is being made available in the adjacent army barracks.