Lawyers of a Moroccan immigrant who was “illegally” expelled from Spain have accused a court of violating human rights.
Rabat – The lawyers of Hassan Ennaciri, a Moroccan man living with his family in Spain, have denounced a Spanish court’s decision to expel him for drug dealing.
The Spanish Provincial Court of Teruel in eastern Spain ordered the expulsion of Ennaciri, a Moroccan father of three, after he was sentenced to three years in jail in 2016 on charges of selling cocaine and “endangering public health.”
In the same year, a court changed the sentence and ordered his expulsion from Spain, which it only implemented on March 9.
According to one of the lawyers, Antonio Perez, Ennaciri’s family was shocked to learn on Monday that authorities took him from the Foreigners Detention Center (CIE) in Valencia, eastern Spain, toward Algeciras—a city in southern Spain connected to Morocco by passenger ferry.
Ennaciri was transferred in compliance with an “immediate” expulsion order although he had appealed the earlier 2016 expulsion order.
Ennaciri’s current whereabouts are not known yet.
The lawyers deemed the court’s expulsion order abrupt and “illegal” because the court did not expel him within the first two years of making the order and did not review his case.
Meanwhile, sources in the Valencian government delegation told Spanish news agency EFE that authorities originally made the expulsion order at the request of Ennaciri himself who had chosen to replace the three-year prison sentence with expulsion.
Born in Morocco, Ennaciri had lived in Alcala de Xivert, a town north of Valencia, since 2004. He is a father to a two-year old and two girls aged 5 and 7, reported the news agency.
Spain is home to 1 million Moroccans, according to EFE’s recent statistics.
In 2018, the country issued a total of 220,929 visas for Moroccans, making them the third most likely non-European nationality to obtain a Spanish visa, after Russia and China.
As for citizenship, Spain is tightening its procedures for Moroccans to get citizenship in the enclaves of Ceuta and Melilla.
The Spanish left-wing Movement For Dignity and Citizenship (MDyC) party indicated last month that throughout the past 14 years, only 2,300 people were granted citizenship in the enclaves among a total of 1 million foreign residents there.