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Assault Against Immigrant Causes Outrage in Spanish Town

Moulaye Ndiaye, a street vendor and native from Senegal, was thrown from a bridge on the eve of the 2012 Tomatina [es] Festival in Buñol, Valencia, Spain. Moulaye was selling his products at the festival when a young man stole his sunglasses. After asking, without success, for the man to return them, Moulaye decided to leave, and then he was shoved and pushed over a bridge more than six metres from the ground. The backpack which he was carrying and the reeds growing in the area where he fell saved his life. He spent a month in intensive care at the Manises Hospital with traumas, several broken ribs and a spinal injury. The assault has caused him to lose sight in his right eye and a very serious neck and back injury has prevented him from working since.

Moulaye Ndiaye. Photo by Jesus Cisnes from lasprovincias.es. Published with permission.

Moulaye Ndiaye. Photo by Jesus Cisnes from lasprovincias.es. Published with permission.

In its blog [es], and on its Facebook [es] wall, the Movement Against Intolerance seeks the help of those who witnessed the assault, asking them to make contact with the organisation so that the case can remain open, as the police have been unable to find the aggressor who escaped into the night. There has also been a large civilian mobilisation [es] which still continues, and the residents of the town of Buñol say they are horrified at this tragic event.

Ángel Galán, coordinator of the Movement Against Intolerance [es], and Salva La Cruz, spokesperson for cear.es [es],

At the scene of the attack in Buñol. Photo by Sara Serano, used with permission.

At the scene of the attack in Buñol. Photo by Sara Serano, used with permission.

have tried to help Moulaye. In the following entries they analyse the dilemma faced by immigrants in the light of the recent healthcare reform that doe snot cover costs for undocumented immigrants:

Moulaye tiene 39 años y vive desde hace 6 años en España en situación irregular; lo que hace que con el nuevo decreto Ley 16/2012(BOE 24 de abril de 2012) se le haya intentado cobrar la asistencia sanitaria recibida. Los redactores de este decreto piensen que los inmigrantes irregulares que no pagan impuestos se aprovechan del sistema sanitario.

Moulaye is 39 years old and has been living in Spain for 6 years without papers; this means that with the new decree Law 16/2012 (BOE 24th April 2012) there has been an attempt to charge him for the healthcare which he has received. Those responsible for this decree think that irregular immigrants who do not pay taxes are taking avantage of the healthcare system.

Según Medicos del Mundo la reforma es contraria al derecho internacional público y a los tratados suscritos por España.

Para Mónica Garcia de Red acoge ”las personas en situación irregular contribuyen, a través de sus impuestos indirectos al sostenimiento de la sanidad pública.”

According to Doctors of the World [es] the reform contravenes both public international law and the treaties to which Spain is party.

Mónica Garcia of the Acoge Network [es] considers that “people in an irregular legal situation contribute through their indirect taxes to the maintenance of the public health system.”

El pasado 23 de febrero de 2013 se anunció la muerte de una mujer boliviana tras ser rechazada dos veces en centros de salud por no tener papeles. Se ha abierto una petición en change.org para pedir explicaciones.

On February 23rd 2013 the death of a Bolivian woman after being turned away from health centres on two occasions because she lacked papers [es] came into public knowledge. A petition has been launched on change.org to demand explanations.

According to Caritas [es], ”once again we confirm that it is not only the circumstances brought about by the economic crisis, but the structures by which the system of social protection is being reconfigured and fortified, which leaves out those groups who are most impoverished and excluded from society”:

Moulaye dice que ahora no piensa más que salir adelante. No le guarda rencor a la persona que le agredió. Solo quiere agradecer a los que lo han ayudado: los ciudadanos, las ONGS, el Alcalde de Buñol que le ha pagado el collarín y la faja ortopédica. Dice que quiere que lo ayudan a tener papeles. Según Ángel Galán, coordinador de Movimiento contra la Intolerencia de Valencia, le han dado una residencia provisional por medidas excepcionales, pero sin sentencia firme se le complicará su situación.

Moulaye says that for now he is thinking only about getting on with his life. He bears no grudge towards the person who attacked him. He only wants to thank those who have helped him: the town's residents, the NGOs, the Mayor of Buñol who paid for his neck and back brace. He says that he wants them to help him get his papers. According to Ángel Galán, coordinator of the Movement Against Intolerance in Valencia, he has been given provisional residence for exceptional reasons, but without a firm judgement his situation will become more difficult.

Lo que es cierto es que la Ley de Extranjeria deja claro que para renovar los permisos de trabajo, como minimo se tiene que cotizar seis meses a la seguridad social o en otros casos excepcionales. Lo que hace que los inmigrantes que se encuentran en paro no van a poder renovar su tarjeta de residencia y volverán a ser ilegales.

Moulaye Ndiaye se desespera sabiendo que puede volver a ser “ilegal” con su discapacidad.

What is certain is that the Immigration Law makes it very clear that in order to renew a work permit, a minimum of six months’ social security payments must have been made or in other exceptional circumstances. This means that immigrants who find themselves unemployed will be unable to renew their residence permits and will become undocumented once more.

Moulaye Ndiaye is filled with despair at the knowledge that he could become ‘illegal’ once again with his disability.

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