THE brother of an African migrant who was found dead in a Malaga jail has demanded an independent probe after claiming his brother was subject to police brutality.
Mohamed Boudarbala was found dead in his cell on Friday at a new prison in Archidona, which is currently being used as a CIE – a centre where migrants are held in Spain before and while their asylum requests are processed.
But while police said on Tuesday that the 36-year-old ‘hanged himself with a sheet’, his brother Ahmed Boudarbala said he was not suicidal.
At a press conference organised by the Citizens’ Platform Against the CIE of Archidona he said: “I was in contact with my brother every day, we called each other, he complained about the food, the cold, but he didn’t complain about life.
“He was sporty, young, very happy and very positive.
“He died in murky circumstances.”
According to Ahmed, from Algeria, inmates at the prison-cum-migrant centre have complained of beatings by police, and his brother was beaten just hours before his death.
Relatives of other people in the centre have also made claims of police brutality, according to the rights group.
Asked whether there had been unrest before Boudarbala’s death, a police spokesman said he did not know.
Spain’s interior ministry has not responded to requests for comment.
Daniel Machuca, spokesman for the Citizens’ Platform Against the CIE of Archidona, said relatives of inmates reported ‘terrible’ living conditions, including no hot water.
There have also been reports of riot police charging at the migrants after protests over living conditions.
Police say they opened an investigation into Boudarbala’s death.
His brother Ahmed and the platform called for authorities to stop deporting migrants from the jail back to their homeland, as these could be potential witnesses in the probe.