Die in the middle of the ocean with the asylum letter in your pocket

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Jose Maria Rodriguez |

Las Palmas de Gran Canaria (Spain) (EFE).- The Spanish Supreme Court has recognized that asylum can be requested from Spain in its various embassies, but the law that regulates this right has not been drafted and the requests of this type are never collected. We don’t know if Abdou tried it in Dakar, but he died at sea with the letter in his pocket.

Abdou is the alias of one of 33 people who perished last week in a dinghy that drifted in the Atlantic amid Tropical Cyclone Hermine as it attempted to reach the Spanish islands from the Canary Islands; one of four corpses left on board with the sole survivor of the tragedy when a merchant found them.

This young Senegalese will also be the only one to be buried with his name because he is fully identified: forensic experts have found his documents and a letter on his clothes which unequivocally expressed his desire to seek asylum in Spain, have informed sources from the Institute of Medicine. Efe Legal this Friday.

For the moment, nothing more is known about him. It is possible that he had previously tried to submit the asylum application in a Spanish embassy or consulate in the various countries crossed until his arrival on September 23 on the beach south of El Aaiún (Sahara), where he embarked for the Canary Islands. .

Immigrants wait to apply for asylum at the headquarters of the Canary Islands Superior Police. EFE/Jose Maria Rodriguez

Lawyers accustomed to assisting immigrants in this Spanish archipelago, off the Atlantic coast of Africa, told EFE this is probably not the case, as asylum seekers know that applications in Spain , in practice, are only collected if presented in Spanish territory. .

Thus, the most likely, they point out, is that he carried the letter in his pocket so that his status as an applicant for international protection would be clear from the moment the Spanish maritime rescue vessel appeared on the horizon and, above all, when the first policeman addressed him in the dock.

The four bodies arrived at the port of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria on Monday and the same day they were delivered to the Institute of Forensic Medicine. The four match apparently strong young Sub-Saharan boys who died of hunger and thirst after being adrift at sea, according to autopsies.

die ocean letter asylum
Arrival of immigrants at the port of Arguineguín. EFE/Elvira Urquijo A.

They had been dead between five and seven days when they were examined, that is to say since the beginning of last week. This means that the only survivor, a 27-year-old Ivorian, spent at least three days alone on the tire, perhaps resigned to suffering the same fate as his 33 companions, perhaps even with the last hope that a boat crosses his path and see him.

When this happened, on Saturday October 1, nearly 280 kilometers from Gran Canaria, Salvamento evacuated him by helicopter with severe hypothermia to the island hospital of Las Palmas, where he is still being treated a week later. confirmed sources of this health center.

It is now up to the city council of the capital of Gran Canaria to bury the four deceased, if possible according to their beliefs. If the Muslim community of the city lends itself as in the previous cases, it will rest where other victims lie, such as the daughters Elene Habiba and Fatumate Zara, who died on the so-called Ruta Canaria, one of the roads of most dangerous immigration in the world. .

Web edition: Rosa Corona

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