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Ceuta and Melilla, the false freedom to the gays of Africa

MORE INFORMATION For the gay muslim, the closet has seven keys to A jump of bulk to the fence of Ceuta aggravates the stress migration in the South Yamil shows

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Ceuta and Melilla, the false freedom to the gays of Africa
MORE INFORMATION For the gay muslim, the closet has seven keys to A jump of bulk to the fence of Ceuta aggravates the stress migration in the South Yamil shows one of the wounds that led to his brother when he learned of his homosexuality. marcos moreno

Wessam has been beaten since he was 12 years old. He has beaten his father, his six brothers and sisters and to the residents of each town in which he has lived. Is full of scars, do not know to say how many times have you been stoned to death. “In my country is as well as you think they should die the gays,” says the moroccan 26-year-old. Your friend Yamil, with whom she lives in the Centre for Temporary Stay of Immigrants (CETI) of Ceuta, he hid his homosexuality until the age of 20. “I looked in the mirror and cried, asked God why I had done so,” he recalls. When he revealed his secret five years ago, his brother almost kills him stabbing.

The two were handed over the border to the freedom of Europe. But the centers for immigrants in Ceuta and Melilla, the two Spanish cities in north Africa, are becoming in the locked closet of a continent where homosexuality is a crime in 33 of its 54 States are recognized. In these border territories applies for an exception to the case-law of Spanish does not endorse and is restricts the freedom of movement of asylum-seekers, as Wessam and Yamil. Your freedom is limited to 18 and 12 square miles of each enclave until it is resolved your record, or until the Ministry of the Interior to authorize your transfer. The coexistence with the rest of the immigrants is a hell.

In Morocco being gay is a crime punishable with up to three years of jail and persecution, and in the majority of cases, begins in the home. “My neighbors told my family that he kissed men. My mother was very nervous, but my father hit me a lot. They are very religious,” recalls Wessam, that during his college days he lived in the house of his uncle, in an isolated cuartucho built in the hollow of the staircase so that it is not mezclase with their cousins: “For being gay and female, I have had five years locked up like an animal”.

Samir (not his real name, as that of the other protagonists of this story) is facing the same three years in prison if he returns to Tunisia, just by be something that he can't avoid: “Gay, gay, but gay is authentic”, he emphasizes. The young man came out of the conservative province of Kasserine two months ago and already has spent four weeks locked in the CETI of Melilla, where she hopes to resolve his application for asylum.

In his people, neither his parents nor his two sisters were running the word to the only male of the brood. Do not send money, nor lend him support, so that malvive asking and leaving late in the evening to the centre to drink with people of your same group. In the CETI melillense, have, are about 30. In Ceuta, it varies, but round ten. “I left my Gorabet country to meet me here with 300 tunisians”, protest Samir, “and only five speak to me”.

In Melilla, where these formalities have been simplified, those who allege persecution based on sexual orientation may come out in weeks, according to Laura Serrano, a lawyer with the Spanish Commission for Refugee Aid (CEAR). In Ceuta, the blade comes to be lengthened by a year. Wessam and Yamil already have eight-and six-months living with close to a thousand of africans, the feeling of contempt on a daily basis. Yamil, which shows a video in which you see more than a dozen sub-saharans trying to take your door down, has already attempted suicide with a handful of pills that were collected during days. “I don't want to die, but what I have to do to make me get out of here?” cries. “Every day we have problems. One day I threw stones. Again,” says Wessam. “We yell ‘fags’, we suffer racism as arabs and as gay...,” says Samir, in Melilla.

“this Is an especially vulnerable group housed in a centre not specialising in the asylum”, explains Rafael Roldán, president of AMLEGA, organization LGBTI melillense. “Although the centre of Melilla has been adapted with bathrooms and rooms themselves, put one foot outside the CETI and beat them and rob them”.

Die before that return

Hana, a teenage moroccan who has not yet attained the age of 18 years, you already share the center with the adults, for the specific request. Before I was living in a center melillense managed by a religious congregation that welcomes minors, foreign unaccompanied overseen by the city. Requested the transfer, he says, because he couldn't hold back. In the CETI, however, you have to call the invigilator to leave the toquetearla. “The men will grab you and ask if you're not going to get married. When I answer, " yes, but with a girl, they tell me that I need a psychologist,” he says.

“The drug is the only thing that is left to us”, exclaimed Hana and laughs, elevating the air-a can of beer in the pack that shares with Samir and Sheila. “She is a lesbian 100%”, is unworthy looking at her friend who has been denied asylum. Sheila is short on words, but when expressed, is not conclusive. “My problem has been the interview,” he says on his application. “I was ashamed to answer, I usually drink the pain and you would think that he was lying. There is that cry for you to believe, but I do not cry”. Sheila has signed the refusal of his request, but warns: “As I return to Morocco, I'll kill myself”.

Wessam discovered before you leave Morocco that you have HIV. “Now, you just have to wait to die. All the world will know that you are gay and sick, I told my dad,” he recalls. He just wants to be left in peace. “I'm gay and I'm sick, but I'm not only that. Maybe I will die soon, but I would like to live at least a year or two quiet. I want to die normal, not by a stone.” To say goodbye, Wessam is thrilled when he receives a hug. “Here nobody touches me”.

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