THERE were protests today April 10 in Arroyo de la Miel, Benalmadena as dozens of African immigrants gathered outside the local police station to demand the release of three men they claimed to have been unfairly arrested.
Police formed a guard outside the station while protestors numbering between 40 and 60 stayed defiantly across the street, talking and maintaining pressure on the station in expectation of their friends’ release.
Euro Weekly News was on the scene and spoke with some of the men who were eager to express their cause to the wider public, particularly the expatriate population who are an essential part of their trade.
M, who spoke fluent English and had a leadership role, told EWN that he and his community have been selling items on the street and the promenade for years and had normally had no trouble from the police as they were entirely peaceable.
He claimed that this had changed with the arrest of the three for plying their trade and that they had been physically abused during their arrest. Those details could not be confirmed but the large number of protesters suggested that it had been a dramatic affair.
M continued to say that he and his friends have a clean and vibrant role in the local community and excellent relations with expats who frequently bought their goods. He emphasised that none of his compatriots sold drugs or stole, and that they were being unfairly targeted by the authorities.
The police were not keen to comment on the story, forming a line outside their station. Two policemen insisted on the deletion of photos taken of the scene which depicted any officers of the law.
At this moment the minutiae of the case remain murky but the matter is clearly unresolved and more details will soon emerge.