AS marine rescue suspended searches for 35 missing migrants off the Malaga coast on Friday (October 30), charities complained at the treatment 15 survivors found clinging to the remains of the dinghy 53 miles south of the city are receiving in Spain.
Thirteen men and two women were rescued after the Condor II lifeboat found them in the sea on Thursday, and seven (including the two women) were admitted to hospitals in Malaga for treatment. Meanwhile the other survivors were thrown into police cells in accordance with Spanish law.
Although, charity spokespeople have stressed, the police are not to blame as they are simply following orders, this is hardly suitable treatment following the traumatic experience of watching loved ones disappear and spending more than 10 hours clinging to debris at sea.
The Red Cross announced that it would be giving refuge to the two female survivors, who would not be sent to detention centres before being returned to their countries of origin. This is, however not the case for the 13 male survivors, who were sent to an immigrants centre in Algeciras to await repatriation. The dinghy, which set off from a Moroccan beach on Wednesday, was carrying at least 54 migrants from Cameroon, Mali and Ivory Coast. Just four bodies were retrieved during extensive of the area.