ADHRRF – On February 25, 2018, the “We Want to Welcome Them Now (Queremos Acoger ¡Ya!)” platform launched a rally on the theme of “Protect the rights of refugees and migrants” in Atocha, Madrid, Spain, opposing the policy of “Fortress Europe” and pleading for true acceptance of refugees. More than 50 local human rights organizations and social groups attended the event.
As is known, a flood of refugees have tried to seek asylum in Europe through various channels, which was motivated by war, famine, and religious persecution. In response to this flood of refugees, many countries have erected fences on their borders. This policy has led many asylum seekers to face expulsion, resulting in higher death rates. In this regard, the “We Want to Welcome Them Now” platform calls on countries to comply with international laws and regulations to welcome the refugees and ensure the basic rights of those fleeing their countries. The platform hopes that Spain and other EU countries will take urgent measures to accept refugees and that all governments strengthen their development cooperation and work hard to find solutions for the displacement of refugees.
The rally officially started at 10:30 a.m. on the 25th. The demonstrators, through cycling and walking, called on all European countries to open safe passage routes for refugees and defend the human rights of refugees and migrants who have arrived in the EU.
At the event, one participant said in an interview, “I am concerned about refugees, immigrants and all those who leave their own cultures, families, and countries. First of all, we all know that everyone has the right to move. The world is not only a place where commodities can flow but also a place where everyone has the right to go anywhere they want. Especially those who cannot survive as a result of war, hunger and religious persecution should have the rights to life and health.”
Another protester said: “I am so anxious about the refugees and immigrants who came to Spain because they risked their lives in getting here and some even have lost their lives. In the last 20 years, more than 30,000 people have died in the Mediterranean Sea, and more than 40,000 additional people have died in the desert at the southern border area. That’s because the European countries have closed their borders and enacted some unfair laws. Meanwhile, the Europeans have closed their hearts, too. People in the world are all brothers and sisters, seeking a way to survive. Everyone has the right to live with dignity, but it is greatly restricted here. It is unfair and inhumane. I am very worried about this.”
Christians of The Church of Almighty God in Spain said: “Today we take to the streets to appeal for the refugees because we understand their difficulties. It is the religious persecution that forced us to forsake our families, give up our our stable lives and come to Spain. Our lives were threatened in China, which is very frustrating. We came to Spain just to secure our lives, so we do understand and support them, and hope our appeal can give them some help.”
After the demonstration, the organizer also arranged musical performances, which provided an opportunity for participants to communicate with each other.