News24 (Cape Town), September 3, 2007
Spain’s Interior Ministry will authorise police to dress undocumented immigrants in straitjackets and helmets during repatriation flights, the daily El Pais reported on Monday.
Police may resort to the measures when they deem it necessary to protect illegal immigrants from hurting themselves in attempts to prevent their expulsion.
Police may not drug immigrants or use disproportionate violence, according to new guidelines prepared by the ministry, which were described as being in line with Council of Europe norms.
Spain’s Canary Islands have received more than 5 000 Africans this year, about 50% less than during the corresponding period in 2006.
The drop in numbers is attributed partly to increased repatriations. More than 8 000 migrants have been flown back to their home countries so far this year.
The new guidelines were prepared after a Nigerian immigrant died during a repatriation flight in June.
Osamuyia Aikpitanhi had been handcuffed and gagged. Police said he had violently resisted his expulsion.