Conditions in detention facilities


Country Report: Conditions in detention facilities Last updated: 21/04/22


Conditions in CIE

According to Article 62-bis of the Aliens Act, CIEs are public establishments of a non-penitentiary nature. Admission to and stay in these facilities shall be solely for preventive and precautionary purposes, safeguarding the rights and freedoms recognised in the legal system, with no limitations other than those applying to their freedom of movement, in accordance with the content and purpose of the judicial detention order of admission.

Article 62-bis of the Aliens Act further entails a list of rights recognised to the detained individuals. This includes the right to be informed and to have access to a lawyer, to an interpreter, to appropriate medical and health support as well as access to NGOs working with migrants. They also have the right to have their life, physical integrity and health respected, and to have their dignity and privacy preserved. The conditions for the access to NGOs as well as the access to adequate social and health care services must be laid down by way of regulation.

The CIE Regulation,[1] adopted in 2014, provides in its Article 3 that:

“The competences on direction, coordination, management and inspection of the centres correspond to the Ministry of the Interior and they are exercised through the General Directorate of the police, who will be responsible for safety and security, without prejudice to judicial powers concerning the entry clearance and control of the permanence of foreigners.”

The Ministry of the Interior is also responsible for the provision of health and social care in the centres, notwithstanding whether such service can be arranged with other ministries or public and private entities.

On the operation and living conditions within the CIE, there is scarce official information provided by the administrations responsible for their management. Due to this lack of transparency, during the last years several institutions and NGOs have developed actions of complaint and denounce shortcomings in the functioning of the CIE. Examples of these activities are the specialised annual reports by the Ombudsman (and its respective representatives at regional level), by the State Prosecutor,[2] and by several organisations of the third sector, academic institutions[3] and media. In addition, valuable information is contained in the rulings of the judicial bodies responsible for controlling stays in the CIE (Jueces de Control de Estancia).

While the CIE Regulation was long awaited, it was established with many aspects to be improved and ignoring many of the recommendations formulated by the aforementioned entities. This is reflected by the decision of the Supreme Court, which, right after the adoption of the Regulation, cancelled four of its provisions as contrary to the Returns Directive, regarding the need to establish separated units for families, procedural safeguards on second-time detention and prohibition of corporal inspections.[4]

Conditions and riots

Even though under the law CIE do not have the status of a prison, the reality in practice suggests otherwise and conditions of detention therein are still not satisfactory. CIE continued to be the object of high public scrutiny and have attracted media and NGO attention during 2021 due to several incidents that took place throughout the year. The section below provides an overview of incidents recently reported in the CIEs between 2020 and 2021.

Following to the COVID-19 outbreak in Spain in March 2020, different organisations forming the ‘National Campaign for the Closure of CIE’ (Campaña Estatal por el Cierre de los CIE) urged the Government to release persons detained at CIEs and top stop issuing new detention orders.[5] Many detainees at the CIEs of Madrid and Barcelona organised protests due to a lack of health measures and the ban on visits, as well as the fact that detainees are not being released even when they cannot be deported.[6]

By the end of March 2020, deportation procedures were suspended,[7]  and by 6 May 2020, all CIEs were emptied.[8] The competent authorities provided official instructions to the relevant stakeholders, establishing that approval to immigration detention of migrants should not be given compulsorily.[9] Upon release, migrants were referred to the reception system under the humanitarian assistance programs managed by NGOs.[10]

After the closure of the CIEs, several stakeholders such as the Jesuit Migrant Service or the campaign CIEsNO urged the Government to close these facilities definitely; i.e. in order to avoid that they would be re-opened after the COVID-19 pandemic.[11] The spokesperson of the political party Compromís also asked during a session at the Senate to permanently convert all CIEs into socio-sanitary centres.[12]

However, at the end of September 2020, the Government re-opened CIEs and resumed detentions and deportation flights.[13] During the same month, the CIEs in Madrid, Barcelona, Murcia and the Canary Islands re-opened. Many NGOs (i.e. CEAR, SOS Racismo, etc.) criticised the Government’s decision to re-open CIEs and denounced that CIEs do not comply with hygienic and sanitary measures.[14] The NGO Irídia also expressed concerns and called for the closure of all CIEs, underling that their closure during four months, along with the suspension of deportation flights due to the COVID-19 situation, demonstrated that these facilities are not necessary for migration management.[15] Following the re-opening of CIEs, several riots and protests were organised.

The re-opening of CIEs was further contested for their inadequacy, and because their conditions often resulted in contrast with COVID-19 restrictions and sanitary measures. In February 2021, the National Police’s trade union JUPOL called for the immediate closure of the CIE in Hoya Fría (Tenerife) for its ‘condition of ruin’ and the lack of COVID-19 measures.[16] Following an outbreak of COVID-19 cases in the CIE in Murcia, the NGO Convivir sin Racismo asked the supervising judge of the CIE in Murcia and the Ombudsman to urge the transfer of detainees in order to ensure their access to health assistance.[17] The announcement of the re-opening of the CIEs in Fuerteventura and in Algeciras raised similar critics.[18]

During 2021 and the beginning of 2022, the following developments and incidents were registered:

  • In February, the Spanish Police Confederation denounced many issues affecting the well-functioning of the structure in the CIE of Hoya Fría in Tenerife such as filtrations, humidity and leaks from the ceiling;[19]
  • In occasion of the 8 of March celebration, various people joined a demonstration in front of the CIE of Aluche in Madrid, calling for CIEs closure;[20]
  • In March, the coordinator of the CIEsNo platform in Cádiz denounced that two Algerian children were detained at the CIE of Algeciras since mid-February, despite the age assessment procedure had proven they were minors.[21] After carrying out additional age assessment proofs, one of the two minors were released and referred to the reception system for minors. The second was instead considered to be of age due to the results of the additional tests that were carried out, despite his birth certificate indicating him to be 16 years-old.[22] Following a complaint lodged by Algeciras Acoge, the Committee on the Rights of the Child started an investigation and asked the Spanish Government not to return him to Algeria until the investigation is closed.[23]
  • In the same month, the organisations Irídia and Migra Studium asked the Supervising Judge of the CIE of Barcelona to establish a regime of visits for inmates in the context of the pandemic, which would assure respect of fundamental rights while managing COVID-19 cases. The organisations also requested a judicial instruction for the possible commission of torture and/or degrading and inhumane treatment against an inmate that was held in an isolation cell for COVID-19 quarantine;[24]
  • At the end of March, the platform CIEsNo of Madrid denounced that at least two Colombian nationals detained at the CIE of Aluche in Madrid were assaulted by different police officers, who additionally stopped them from accessing health services after the aggression. The supervising judge and the Ombudsman were notified about the fact. The detainees started a hunger strike after the accident.[25] The Platform CIEsNO asked to suspend the expulsion order of the victims and witnesses until the conclusion of the investigation, while reporting that such episodes of violence and human rights violations against inmates are increasing[26].
  • In a decision issued at the end of March, the Provincial Court of Valencia established that the police and health professionals at the CIE of Zapadores in Valencia were not to be held accountable for the suicide of Marouane Abouobaida, a Moroccan 23 years-old migrant who committed suicide on 15 July 2019. He was held in an isolation cell where he was put after receiving a brutal beating by other inmates and despite having reported the bad conditions he was suffering. While dropping criminal charges against the CIE’s personnel, the judge urged to revise internal protocols, and to monitor the behaviour of the professionals employed at the Zapadores facility.[27] Following the decision, the political party Unides Podem called for the closure of the facility and its reorganisation as a Centre in Memory of the Victims of Migration,[28] and that the mentioned measures indicated by the supervising judge in its decision will be adopted.[29] In addition, the Spanish Ombudsman resumed the investigation on possible deficiencies in providing health assistance at the facility.[30]
  • The Trade Union of the National Police Jupol lodged a criminal complaint in March against the Chief Commissioner of the National Police of the Santa Cruz de Tenerife province, for disregarding the sanitary protocol and lamenting the lack of personnel at the CIE of Hoya Fría in Tenerife, in which more than 30 COVID-19 cases were reported;[31]
  • In June, more than 100 organisations gathered in front of the CIE of Barcelona with the aim of denouncing the report of 6 cases[32] of degrading treatment or torture carried out by police officers during the 6 months in which the CIE was open in 2020.[33]
  • In mid-June, supervising judges decided to resume the visits to inmates at the CIE of Barcelona after they were suspended in March due to the pandemic;[34]
  • The re-opening of the CIE of Zapadores in Valencia in mid-July 2021 was accompanied by a demonstration by the Platform CIEsNO that, together with other relevant institutions (such as the coordinator of the political party Podem, the Deputy Major, and the Regional Minister of Participation), called for its definitive closure;[35]
  • During the summer, the organisations CIEsNO and Pueblos Unidos denounced the increase of cases in which migrants detained at the Aluche CIE in Madrid were subjected by degrading treatments by police officers. They asked judges, public prosecutors and the Minister of Interior to intervene, and lodged a complaint at the Public Prosecutor for Hate Crimes and at the Public Prosecutor for Foreigners for degrading treatments with violence.[36] Reports of migrants repatriated after denouncing police aggressions were also revealed;[37]
  • A source of protests and demonstrations signed the start of construction works to establish a new CIE in Algeciras;[38]
  • Family members and NGOs visits to inmates were restricted at the end of August in the CIE of Aluche in Madrid after a COVID-19 outbreak. Family members reported being unable to obtain information on the health situation of their relatives;[39]
  • At the end of October, the Provincial Court of Barcelona re-opened an investigation for the degrading treatment toward an inmate at the CIE of Barcelona denounced having suffered while in isolation for COVID-19. The case was previously closed because the Algerian migrant was repatriated after reporting police aggressions and isolation conditions that lead him to self-harm;[40]
  • In November, four police officers testified in front of the Provincial Court of Barcelona as they are accused of degrading treatments toward migrants during an attempt of escape from the CIE of Barcelona in 2017;[41]
  • In December, the Office for Equal Opportunities in Valencia launched a campaign for the International Human Rights Day, which included the installation of a monolith in memory of Marouane Abouobaida, a migrant who died in July 2019 while in detention at the CIE of Zapadores in Valencia;[42]
  • A young man was detained in December after throwing drugs and medicines to inmates at the CIE of Valencia;[43]
  • In December, lawyers from the organisation Irídia denounced various cases in which punitive isolations were used in CIEs as a form of Covid-prevention measure;[44]
  • In January 2022, inmates at the CIE of Valencia denounced the lack of appropriate prevention and isolation measures in the facility, after one third of the 99 detainees resulted positive to COVID-19.[45] The Platform CIEs NO denounced that the centre’s director had not notified the situation to the Public Health System;[46]
  • During the same month, an Algerian man escaped from the CIE of Valencia by climbing a wall and stole a bicycle to run away;[47]
  • In February 2022, the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child asked the Government to release an Algerian 16-years-old boy detained at the CIE of Algeciras, to stop his deportation and refer him to a minor protection centre.[48] Despite that, in March he was still held in the facility.[49]
  • In March 2022, the Algerian former soldier and activist Mohamed Benhlima was detained in the CIE of Valencia and then deported to Algeria after his asylum application was denied, and despite the calls by the CIEsNO campaign and by Amnesty International to avoid his deportation, for being at risk of inhumane treatment and torture in his country of origin.[50]

Moreover, the re-opening of CIEs raised criticism and opposition from certain instruction judges who, thorough different decisions issued during 2020, decided to transfer international protection applicants from the CIE in Tenerife to centre providing humanitarian assistance to migrants,[51] or to stop issuing detention orders at the CIE of Las Palmas de Gran Canarias.[52]

However, in January 2021 the Supervising Judge of the CIE of Barcelona refused to close the centre after a COVID-19 case was detected in October 2020, despite the explicit call from the Municipality and some NGOs to do so.[53] Similarly, in December 2020, an Instruction Judge in Murcia refused to release 37 Moroccan and Algerian migrants detained at the CIE, following the request made by the ONG Convivir Sin Racismo because of the COVID-19.[54]

Information on the conditions inside detention centres is available in the reports from the CIE visits conducted by the Spanish Ombudsman, including those within its responsibilities as National Prevention Mechanism for Torture. The findings, facts and recommendations concerning the CIE visited by the Ombudsman are available in the Annual Report of 2020, published in 2021,[55] as well as in the report issued by the Spanish Ombudsman in his capacity of National Prevention Mechanism against Torture.[56]

Moreover, the annual report of the Jesuit Migrants Service on CIEs in Spain contains relevant information on conditions and their situation, thanks to the visits that the organisation carries out.[57] In its report of June 2021, which summarises findings of visits carried out in 4 CIEs (in Barcelona, Madrid, Valencia, and Algeciras-Tarifa), the NGO continues to highlight the serious deficiencies of living conditions and the lack of guarantees within those facilities.[58] Visits to the CIE of Aluche in Madrid are regularly carried out by the organisation SOS Racismo, with the objective, among others, of providing legal and psychological support to detainees.[59]

Additionally, the annual report of the Public Prosecutor office informs about the conditions at the CIEs, in light of the visits that the institution carries out. According to the last report published, the Public Prosecutor informs that the CIE of Aluche in Madrid continues to present the same deficiencies denounced in previous years, that have not been solved, such as the lack of appropriate spaces to practice physical exercise and sport, the lack of backs at seats in the canteen and the living room, etc.[60]

In relation to the right to defence of inmates, a report published in March 2021 by the NGO Irídia states that one of the main difficulties for reporting and investigating the aggressions that inmates suffer at the CIEs is that victims and witnesses are usually repatriated few days or weeks after the incidents.[61]

The Spanish Government admitted its responsibility for the death of Samba Martine, a migrant detained at the CIE of Madrid who died in 2011 for the first time in November 2020. The decision taken by the Government determined that the death was linked to the malfunctioning of the CIE of Madrid, the CETI of Melilla and the private company SERMEDES S.L. in charge of providing medical assistance at the CIE. After 8 years of litigation, the Ministry of Interior, the Ministry of Inclusion, Social Security and Migration, and SERMEDES S.L. accepted to compensate Samba Martine’s family.[62] No further information regarding whether the compensation was received by the family was available has been found if compensation was actually made at the time of writing.

Activities, health care and special needs

The CIE Regulations governs the provision of services for sanitary assistance,[63] including access to medical and pharmaceutical assistance (and hospital assistance when needed), and contains provisions concerning clean clothes, personal hygiene kits and diets that take into account personal requirements.[64] In the same way, Article 15 of the Regulation concerns the provision of services for social, legal and cultural assistance, which can be provided by contracted NGOs. Detained third-country nationals can receive visits from relatives during the established visiting hours,[65] and have access to open air spaces.[66]

As regards families with children in detention, although the Regulation did not initially foresee ad hoc facilities, the 2015 ruling of the Spanish Supreme Court obliged the detention system for foreigners to provide separated family spaces. Officially recognised unaccompanied minors are not detained in CIE, although there have been several reported cases of non-identified minors in detention.

Notwithstanding legal provisions, and the improvement in conditions after the adoption of the CIE Regulation, each centre still presents deficiencies, as the establishment of specific available services depends on each of the CIE directors.

In general, shortcomings have been reported concerning structural deficiencies or significant damages which may put at risk the health and safety of detained persons, overcrowding, absence of differentiated modalities for persons who have committed mere administrative infractions, restrictions to visits or to external communications, frequent lack of material for leisure or sports activities. In addition, the provision of legal, medical, psychological and social assistance is limited and not continuous; detained persons often lack information regarding their legal situation, their rights or the date of their return when removal is applicable. Also, interpreters and translators are often not available in practice.

In its 2020 Annual Report, published in 2021, the Spanish Ombudsman reiterates his concerns about the quality and adequacy of health assistance at CIEs, and states the necessity to prioritise assessments on these issues.[67] Similarly, the lack of healthcare at the CIEs were reported also by the Jesuit Migrant Service in its 2020 Annual Report on the CIEs. The latter denounces the long list of human rights violations reported with respect to the CIEs, such as the insufficient health assistance and the degrading treatments toward inmates.[68] The same concern has been expressed by the Spanish Ombudsman in his capacity as National Prevention Mechanism against Torture in its 2020 Annual Report published in June 2021, especially in relation to the CIE of Aluche in Madrid. In this specific case, the Ombudsman noted the same deficiencies reported in previous years.[69] Moreover, the body reported on the lack of guaranteeing of different rights to inmates at the CIEs of Murcia and Madrid, such as the lack of information on the internal regulation in a language inmates can understand, the lack of a praying room, the lack of provision of a copy of the complaints lodged to inmates, and underlined the necessity to design a protocol for prevention of suicides and one for the prevention of situation of trafficking in human beings.[70]

During an unannounced visit carried out at the CIE of Aluche in Madrid, the Spanish Ombudsman revived many complaints by inmates in relation to the health assistance and the treatment they receive by certain officers. Moreover, detainees presented issues such as the lack of information provided on their administrative situation, and how to apply for international protection.[71] The report also remarks that the disciplinary case against the director of the facility for alleged reiterated vulnerations of the inmates’ human rights – lodged in 2019 by five NGOs providing legal assistance to detainees – is still open, and that information on the outcome of the case will be provided in the next annual report.[72]

The management of the health assistance at CIE by private companies instead of the public health system has been criticised for the lack of transparency and accountability, as well as for irregularities.[73]

In its annual report on the situation of the CIE of Barcelona, the NGO Irídia continues to denounce the human rights violations committed at the facility, and the unprecedented deterioration in guaranteeing the inmates’ rights during the COVID-19 pandemic. The organisation also continued to denounce the lack of an appropriate health assistance to inmates, the lack of transparency of the Minister of Interior, and called for the availability of interpreters to facilitate the communication between inmates and lawyers, as well as to guarantee the inmates’ right to defence.[74]

The practice of placing people with mental health issues in solitary confinement has also been reported, together with the deterioration of the mental health condition caused by isolation.[75]

In December 2020, Cáritas Española further published guidelines to any legal professional that can intervene in a CIE.[76] The publication collects a set of Q&A on different aspects of migration detention in Spain, such as the applicable legal framework, the material conditions and infrastructure of facilities, the provision of health, social and legal assistance in detention, the detainees’ rights and obligations, the functioning of CIEs, etc. It also includes samples of a broad variety of claims and reports that can be submitted according to different aspects related to migrants’ detention.


Conditions in police stations

Migrants detained in police stations after arriving in Spain by sea face dire conditions.

During 2020, the Spanish Ombudsman, in its capacity as National Mechanism for Prevention of Torture, visited 27 National Police’s stations, including 9 CATEs affirming the general adequacy of the visited places to hold persons in custody, but also underling the necessity to reform some of them, as well as the inadequacy of some cells for their size.[77] It also highlighted concerns regarding the security conditions and the lack of structural elements which may entails a physical risk for the persons in detention.

A report published at the beginning of 2021 by the organisation Irídia expressed concerns about the conditions at the CATE of Barranco Seco on the Canary Islands,[78] as it is made out of military tents and reaches a capacity ranging from 800 to 1,000 persons. Migrants are hosted according to the boat they arrived with. The lack of warm food, the limited access to showers and the bad weather conditions (i.e. cold temperatures and humidity) are reported as particular issues.


Conditions in border facilities

Border facilities have been visited and monitored by the Spanish Ombudsman.

The deplorable conditions of the “non-admission room” in Madrid Barajas Airport during years has raised serious concerns because of its deplorable conditions.

The Ombudsman also expressed concerns on the long stays at the non-admission room while international protection applicants and statelessness applicants were waiting for the appeals of their applications (i.e. referring to the case of a stateless applicant waiting up to 70 days during the appeal of his application)[79] and followed-up on how the National Police dealt with a case of sexual abuse in 2019 in the transit zone at the Madrid Barajas Airport, as it repatriated the suspected aggressor before a complementary investigation could be carried out. In the most recent Annual Report, the Spanish Ombudsman informed that the Minister of Justice has accepted the recommendations formulated to it, including the one aiming at widening the concept of gender-based violence, in order to include in it all forms of violence against women as foreseen by the Istanbul Convention.[80]




[1] Real Decreto 162/2014, de 14 de marzo, por el que se aprueba el reglamento de funcionamiento y régimen interior de los centros de internamiento de extranjeros.

[2] See e.g.

[3] Servicio Jesuita a Migrantes, Sufrimiento Inútil – Informe CIE 2017, June 2018, 8.

[4] El Pais, ‘El Supremo anula cuatro articulos de la norma de los Centros de Inetrnamiento’, 27 January 2015, available at:

[5] El Salto, ‘Piden la libertad de las personas retenidas en los CIE y su cierre definitivo’, 13 March 2020, available in Spanish at:

[6] Directa, ‘Interns del CIE de Barcelona protesten per la manca de mesures sanitàries davant la crisi del coronavirus’, 14 March 2020, available in Spanish at:; 20minutos, ‘Internos del CIE de Aluche se amotinan para denunciar su exposición al coronavirus: “Tenemos síntomas”’, 17 March 2020, available in Spanish at:

[7] Europapress, Marlaska dice que las repatriaciones de migrantes están suspendidas por una “imposibilidad manifiesta” ante el COVID-19, 30 March 2020, available in Spanish at:

[8] Público, Hoy es un día histórico en España: los CIE se quedan vacíos, 6 May 2020, available in Spanish at:

[9] Jesuit Refugee Service Europe, ‘Covid-19 and immigration detention: lessons (not) learned”, February 2021, available at:

[10] La Opinión de Murcia, Acogidos por asociaciones humanitarias mientras continúa cerrado el CIE, 21 May 2020, available in Spanish at:

[11] Servicio Jesuita a Migrantes, No retomar el internamiento en los CIE cuando acabe la pandemia, 13 May 2020, available in Spanish at:; Europapress, Jesuitas lanzan una campaña para pedir al Gobierno que no retome la actividad de los CIE al finalizar la pandemia, 13 May 2020, available in Spanish at:; Irídia, ‘Comunicado de la Campaña Estatal por el cierre de los CIE y el fin de las deportaciones’, 14 May 2020, available in Spanish at:

[12] El Diario, ‘Compromís pide “reconvertir todos los CIE españoles como centros sociosanitarios para siempre”, 2 May 2020, available in Spanish at:

[13] Público, ‘Interior retoma las deportaciones de migrantes argelinos desde los CIE’, 2 December 2020, available at:; El Diario, ‘Interior reabre los CIE cerrados por la pandemia para reactivar la maquinaria de expulsión de inmigrantes’, 24 September 2020, available in Spanish at:

[14] Canarias 7, ‘ONG lamentan la reapertura de los CIE y denuncian que no cumplen las condiciones sanitarias’, 25 September 2020, available in Spanish at:

[15] Irídia, ‘Comunicado ante la reactivación de los CIE’, 25 September 2020, available in Spanish at:

[16] Europapress, ‘JUPOL pide el cierre del CIE de Hoya Fría en Tenerife por su “estado de ruina” y la “falta” de medidas Covid-19’, 3 February 2021, available in Spanish at:

[17] 20minutos, ‘Convivir Sin Racismo pide el traslado de internos del CIE de Murcia ante el brote de Covid-19’, 2 Febraury 2021, available in Spanish at:

[18] Onda Fuerteventura, ‘Jiménez informa sobre la reapertura ‘inminente’ del CIE de El Matorral’, 5 February 2021, available at:; Onda Fuerteventura, ‘Asamblea Popular de Fuerteventura se opone a la apertura del CIE de El Matorral’, 19 February 2021, available at:; La Voz del Sur, ‘El CIE de Algeciras, una “cárcel” ruinosa que reabre sus puertas en pandemia’, 19 February 2021, available in Spanish at:

[19] El Diario, ‘La Confederación Española de Policía denuncia filtraciones y humedades en el CIE de Hoya Fría’, 10 February 2021, available at:  

[20] Europa Press, ‘Decenas de personas reclaman ante el CIE de Aluche (Madrid) el cierre de estos centros en un acto por el 8M’, 5 March 2021, available at:

[21] Europa Sur, ‘La Coordinadora CIEs No denuncia que hay dos menores de edad internos en el CIE de Algeciras’, 12 March 2021, available at:

[22] Europa Sur, ‘La Fiscalía ordena la salida de un menor del CIE de Algeciras para ser acogido en el sistema de protección de menores’, 22 March 2021, available at:

[23] Público, ‘La ONU investiga el internamiento de un menor en el CIE de Algeciras’, 15 April 2021, available at:; Europa Sur, ‘La ONU paraliza la devolución a Argelia de un menor del CIE de Algeciras’, 15 April 2021, available at:

[24] Irídia, ‘Irídia i Migra Studium reclamen un règim de visites als interns del CIE’, 18 March 2021, available at:

[25] Público, ‘Denuncian agresiones policiales a internos del CIE de Aluche y su deportación en un vuelo a Colombia’, 23 March 2021, available at:

[26] Poder Popular, ‘Denuncian la presunta agresión de policías a internos del CIE Aluche’, 24 March 2021, available at:

[27] Levante, ‘La Audiencia no ve delito en la muerte de Marouane pero insta a revisar los protocolos, la asistencia y la conducta del personal del CIE de Zapadores’, 29 March 2021, available at:; Contrainformación, ‘Sobreseída la causa por la muerte de un joven marroquí en el CIE’, 5 April 2021, available at:

[28] Europa Press, ‘Unides Podem pide el cierre “inmediato” del CIE de Zapadores y su reconversión a un centro de víctimas de migraciones’, 15 April 2021, available at:

[29] El Diario, ‘Unides Podem demana que s’adopten les mesures contra el suïcidi que va imposar el jutge de vigilància del CIE de València’, 15 April 2021, available at:

[30] El Diario, ‘El Defensor del Pueblo retoma las actuaciones por el suicidio de un joven marroquí en el CIE de Valencia’, 10 May 2021, available at:

[31] Europa Press, ‘Presentan una querella criminal por la gestión del CIE de Hoya Fría: más de 30 positivos y falta de personal’, 31 March 2021, available at:

[32] Among such cases, an inmate reported having been subdued, handcuffed, having his left tied and being left for three hours in such a situation by seven police offciers.[32] The NGO Irídia made the video showing what such inmate suffered public, and informed that lodged a complaint after the competent judge closed the file in April. See: 20minutos, ‘Siete policías reducen a un interno del CIE de Barcelona en su celda y lo atan con bridas durante tres horas’, 8 June 2021, available at:

[33] El Diario, ‘Entidades sociales piden al juez que revierta la “situación insostenible” de los internos del CIE de Barcelona’, 8 June 2021, available at:; Público, ‘Irídia recorre el cas d’un intern del CIE que va ser aïllat durant 10 dies, agredit i emmanillat’, 8 June 2021, available at:

[34] Europapress, ‘Los jueces del CIE de Barcelona avalan reanudar las visitas suspendidas desde marzo’, 18 June 2021, available at:

[35] El País, ‘Una manifestación con presencia de cargos públicos protesta por la reapertura del CIE de Valencia’, 7 July 2021, available at:; Levante, ‘CIEs No pide el cierre definitivo de Zapadores en el día de su reapertura’, 8 July 2021, available at:

[36] Naiz, ‘ONG denuncian «tratos vejatorios» de policías a migrantes en el CIE de Madrid’, 7 July 2021, available at:; Madrid Actual, ‘Asociaciones denuncian un aumento de la violencia en el CIE de Aluche, 7 July 2021, available at:; La Marea, ‘Organizaciones sociales denuncian “un preocupante aumento de la violencia” en los CIE’, 7 July 2021, available at:

[37] El Diario, ‘Migrantes expulsados “de forma urgente” tras denunciar en los juzgados agresiones policiales en el CIE de Madrid’, 11 July 2021, available at:

[38] Europasur, ‘La Coordinadora CIES No se concentra en Algeciras en rechazo al nuevo centro en Botafuegos’, 24 July 2021, available at:

[39] Público, ‘Un brote de covid-19 en el CIE de Aluche restringe el acceso a familiares y ONG’, 27 August 2021, available at:

[40] Público, ‘Reabren una investigación por tratos degradantes a un interno del CIE de Barcelona aislado por covid’, 27 October 2021, available at:

[41] El Diario, ‘Cuatro policías niegan que agredieran a migrantes en un intento de fuga del CIE de Barcelona’, 15 November 2021, available at:

[42] Europa Press, ‘Un monolito recuerda a Marouane Abouobaida, la inmigrante que falleció en el CIE de Zapadores’, 2 December 2021, available at:

[43] Stick Noticias, ‘Detenido un joven en Valencia por lanzar droga y medicamentos a los internos del CIE de Zapadores’, 5 December 2021, available at:

[44] Crónica Global, ‘Abogados alertan sobre la deportación ‘exprés’ de inmigrantes del CIE que denuncian malos tratos’, 18 December 2021, available at:

[45] El Salto Diario, ‘El CIE de Zapadores de València, sin capacidad para aislar a los contagiados, registra 20 casos de covid entre los internos’, 11 January 2022, available at:; Levante, ‘Un brote de covid afecta a un tercio de los 99 internos del CIE de Zapadores de València’, 11 January 2022, available at:; Cadena Ser, ‘La campaña CIEs NO denuncia la falta de medidas de prevención y aislamiento en el CIE de Zapadores’, 10 January 2022, available at:

[46] Levante, ‘El CIE de Zapadores no notificó los contagios en el interior del centro a Salud Pública’, 14 January 2022, available at:; El Salto Diario, ‘CIEs No denuncia que la dirección de Zapadores en València no notificó los contagios de Covid a Salud Pública’, 14 January 2022, available at:

[47] Las Provincias, ‘Un joven argelino se fuga del CIE de Valencia tras trepar por un muro y robar una bicicleta’, 15 January 2022, available at:

[48] Público, ‘La ONU pide detener la expulsión de un menor internado el CIE de Algeciras pese a tener documentación que aclara su edad’, 21 February 2022, available at:

[49] Público, ‘Un menor sigue en el CIE de Algeciras después de un mes y una resolución de la ONU que pide su puesta en libertad’, 2 March 2022, available at:

[50] El Diario, ‘El militar y activista argelino Mohamed Benhlima, encerrado en el CIE de Valencia y al borde de la deportación’, 17 March 2022, available at:; Levante, ‘CIEsNO pide a Interior que paralice la expulsión de un activista argelino que denunció la corrupción de su país’, 17 March 2022, available at: ; El Diario, ‘El Gobierno deniega la protección internacional al activista y exmilitar argelino encerrado en el CIE de Valencia’, 22 March 2022, available at:; La Opinión de Murcia, ‘España deporta a Argelia al activista Mohamed Benhalima’, 25 March 2022, available at:

[51] El Diario, ‘Una jueza canaria aplica por primera vez la sentencia europea sobre solicitantes de asilo y evita el CIE a 31 malienses’, 28 September 2020, available in Spanish at:

[52] El Diario, ‘El juez del CIE de Gran Canaria prohíbe nuevos internamientos para evitar la propagación de la COVID-19’, 8 October 2020, available in Spanish at:

[53] El Diario, ‘El juez rechaza cerrar el CIE de Barcelona por la COVID-19 como pedían Ayuntamiento y entidades’, 14 January 2021, available in Spanish at:

[54] La Verdad, ‘Un juez rechaza la petición de una ONG para clausurar el CIE y dejar libres a los 37 inmigrantes’, 29 December 2020, available in Spanish at:

[55] Defensor del Pueblo, Informe Anual 2020. Volumen I – Informe de Gestión, May 2021, available at:

[56] Defensor del Pueblo, Informe Anual 2020 – Mecanismo Nacional de Prevención de la Tortura, June 2021, available at:

[57] Servicio Jesuita a Migrantes, ‘Informe CIE 2020 – Razón jurídica y sinrazón política’, 4 June 2021, available at:

[58] The report also highlights a set of the inmates rights which need to be safeguarded, such as the right to heatlh, the investigation of the denounces of torture and inhumane and degrading treatments, recognition of the minority even though age assessment determination leaves doubts on the age and referral to thechildren protection system, and the information on and the processing of international protection applications.

[59] SOS Racismo, Visitas al CIE de Aluche, available in Spanish at:

[60] Fiscalía General del Estado, ‘Memoria del Ministerio Fiscal de 2021 – Ejercicio 2020’, September 2021, available at:

[61] Irídia, ‘Informe sobre violencia institucional en 2020’, February 2021, available at:

[62] El Salto Diario, ‘El Estado español admite su responsabilidad en la muerte de Samba Martine’, 17 November 2020, available in Spanish at:

[63] Article 14 CIE Regulation.

[64] Articles 39-47 CIE Regulation.

[65] Article 42 CIE Regulation.

[66] Article 40 CIE Regulation.

[67] Defensor del Pueblo, Informe Anual 2020. Volumen I – Informe de Gestión, May 2021, available at:, 232.

[68] Servicio Jesuita a Migrantes, ‘Informe CIE 2020 – Razón jurídica y sinrazón política’, 4 June 2021, available at:; Europapress, ‘Servicio Jesuita de Migrantes denuncia dificultades para visitar los CIE e insiste en que se cierren definitivamente’, 4 June 2021, available at:

[69] Defensor del Pueblo, Informe Anual 2020 – Mecanismo Nacional de Prevención de la Tortura, June 2021, available at:, 96.

[70] Ibidem, 99.

[71] Defensor del Pueblo, Informe Anual 2020. Volumen I – Informe de Gestión, May 2021, available at:, 235.

[72] Ibidem, 236.

[73] Irídia, ‘Informe sobre violencia institucional en 2020’, February 2021, available at:

[74] Irídia, ‘Informe: Vulneracions de drets humans al Centre d’Internament d’Estrangers de Barcelona 2021’, December 2021, available at:

[75] PICUM, ‘Immigration detention in Europe: what safeguards for people with vulnerabilities?’, 10 March 2021, available at:

[76] Cáritas, “Invisibles en la última frontera, Manual jurídico para la defensa de los extranjeros en los centros de internamiento”, December 2020, available in Spanish at:

[77] Defensor del Pueblo, ‘Informe anual 2020. Mecanismo Nacional de Prevención’, June 2021, available in Spanish at:

[78] Irídia, ‘Iridia, ‘Vulneraciones de derechos humanos en la Frontera Sur: Canarias y Melilla’, January 2021, available in Spanish at:

[79] Defensor del Pueblo, ‘Informe anual 2020. Volumen I – Informe de Gestión’, May 2021, available at:, 198.

[80] Ibidem, 311.

Table of contents

  • Statistics
  • Overview of the legal framework
  • Overview of the main changes since the previous report update
  • Asylum Procedure
  • Reception Conditions
  • Detention of Asylum Seekers
  • Content of International Protection
  • ANNEX I – Transposition of the CEAS in national legislation