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Jesuit NGO prays in front of Barcelona migrant detention center and calls for its closure

Migra Studium holds its sixth prayer vigil in solidarity with detainees

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20 January 2020 02:06 PM

by

Cristina Tomàs White|Barcelona

On Saturday night, Jesuit NGO Migra Studium held its sixth annual prayer vigil in front of the Barcelona migrant detention center (CIE) in Zona Franca and called for its closure.

The hundred or so attendees expressed their solidarity with the detained irregular migrants, who according to Spanish law can await news on whether they will be deported to their countries of origin or not for up to 60 days behind bars.

Attendees lit candles and painted a mural outside the building and Migra Studium volunteers who visit the CIE weekly shared the stories of some of the people who passed through the center's door's last year, affirming that the human rights of migrants are "repeatedly" violated there.

One of the organization's lawyers, Josetxo Ordóñez, also drew attention to the presence of minors, asylum seekers, and chronically ill people in the center who receive inadequate medical assistance.

In the statement read at the event, the Jesuit group described the CIE as the "visible face" of "policies that kill." According to them, there are currently 60 or so people currently detained at the center for the administrative offense of not having residence permits.

"For us, as long as we are not able to shut the CIE down, it is a sacred place because the lives of the detainees and their suffering is sacred."

Migra Studium volunteers have been visiting detained migrants for years, providing legal assistance when possible as well as support and conversation while they remain cut off from the outside world.

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  • Migra Studium prayer vigil in front of the Barcelona migrant detention center on January 18, 2020 (by Aina Martí)

  • Migra Studium prayer vigil in front of the Barcelona migrant detention center on January 18, 2020 (by Aina Martí)

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