Spain: Detained Immigrants „Are Treated Like Criminals“

By Inés Benítez

„It was very tough, like being in prison,“ says 29-year-old Algerian immigrant Sid Hamed Bouziane, in slow Spanish, about his 28-day stay at the Immigrant Detention Centre, or CIE, in the southern Spanish city of Málaga.

The Málaga CIE, established in 1990 in a former military barracks in the rundown neighbourhood of Capuchinos, is one of nine Spanish centres created to hold undocumented immigrants.

CIEs are defined in the country’s immigration laws as non-correctional public facilities under the interior ministry, for detention in custody, at the behest of the justice authorities, of foreigners subject to deportation proceedings. (more on