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Saturday, June 17, 2017

Thousands March in Madrid,Spain Demanding Govt to Honour Refugee Commitment

Several thousand people marched in Madrid on Saturday June 17,2017 to ask the Spanish government to honour its commitment to take in more than 17,000 refugees as part of Europe's relocation plan.

"No human being is illegal," the crowds chanted as they walked under scorching heat past clothes shops in central Madrid, holding banners that read "Bridges not walls" and "Enough with excuses, no more barriers"

The protest, organised by dozens of NGOs including Amnesty International, comes just a few days before World Refugee Day on Tuesday.

It also comes as the deadline nears to relocate 160,000 refugees across Europe under a solidarity plan put in place in 2015 to try to remedy the continent's biggest-ever migration crisis and ease the burden on frontline states Italy and Greece

Spain, which had pledged to take in more than 17,300, has so far only welcomed just over 1,300, according to Amnesty.

"Spain is doing absolutely nothing of what it should be doing, it's a disgrace – Spain and Europe," said Carlos Diez, a 55-year-old secondary school teacher at the protest.

Also at the march was Christian Lele, a 27-year-old from Cameroon who entered Spain illegally in 2014 by climbing over a border fence between Morocco and the Spanish territory of Melilla – one of only two land borders between Africa and Europe.

"I wanted to study, change my life, help my family," he said.

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