Ilona Sābera – portfolio

blogging, journalism, semiotics, short stories

In Europe over the fence

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Published on International Journalism Festival

Documentary “Assalto alla rete/Attack of the fence” by Silvia Resta, an Italian investigative journalist, accents the invisible part of illegal immigration. The journey to European Union by illegal immigrants from sub-saharian countries can last from some months till several years. The crucial point of it is the crossing of a high fence on the border of Spain and Morocco where they put in real danger proper lives.

The represented towns Ceuta and Melilla are Spanish, still situated on African continent. “Because we are too many, we get our chance,” tells the man, one of the 300 people who were lucky to get over the wire hedgehog despite the armed Moroccan and Spanish guards. They come in the night; put their wooden ladder, made in the nearby forest, and climb. The injuries they get are of different degree. Almost all of the men are showing bandages of cuts on all of the body. In one of these nights out of 600 people the guards of both sides killed 4 and injured 85 persons. Spanish affirm using only rubber bullets (from a close distance, though), Moroccans are armed with Kalashnikov.

“Europe is nice. I like it. The human rights are being respected,” says migrant from Ghana and describes the opposite situation in his country which he was forced to leave. There are two fences on the border: first you need to get over one from the Moroccan side, which is lower; then there is Spanish one – higher. If you get cut on the hedgehog wires in the middle of these two, medics are not allowed to pass there. The length of the fence, built in different stages after the year 2000, is 10km and 400 metres.
Mellila is a multiethnic town. “You see how Melilla is now? Everybody comes here and we can’t find a job!” is expressing his fears a Spanish man in one of the towns bars. “My life is not safe in my country. I’m scared to live. If they make me return, I’ll die,” is telling his story in the immigrants’ camp newly arrived man from Zimbabwe, and surviving the fence, new people are still arriving to continue their way to Europe.

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