Red Cross volunteer, Luna R. , In her twenties, to a wave of attacks on social media after a clip was posted showing she was comforting a man just out of the water.
The photo, published on social media, spread around the world. In the photo, a Spanish Red Cross volunteer hugs a crying Senegalese migrant, trying to comfort him after giving him a drink. The latter is one of 8,000 people who have arrived in Ceuta, Spain, since Monday, from Morocco. Upon arriving by shore or sea, migrants took advantage of loosening border controls on the Moroccan side.
If the hugs moved in Spain, it also sparked many negative comments. So much so, that the young volunteer, Luna R., in her twenties, was subjected to online harassment and had to close her social media accounts.
Sexual and racial insults
to me BBC World News, The Spanish branch of British media, the young woman was a target of sexual and racial insults, particularly from the far-right. “They knew that my friend was black, and they kept insulting me and telling me horrible and racist things,” Luna testified in front of the Spanish TV channel. RTVE, Adding that the gesture of hugging someone in distress is “the most natural thing in the world.”
“We understand that some people do not agree with what we do, but nothing justifies insults and personal attacks,” meanwhile, Isabelle Brasio, a spokeswoman for the Red Cross in Ceuta, who was interrogated by our colleagues, lamented. She added that Luna “is very sad and sad, because after she did her work to the best of her ability, with this humanity that the Red Cross enjoys in her genes, she received all these criticisms.”
A spokesperson for the Humanitarian Society revealed behind the scenes of the scene, which quickly became widespread. “This person was crying, because they had just announced that one of his friends, who had crossed with him, had died (…) out of despair, the first thing he did was to” embrace the first person. “He saw, what color,” Isabel Bracero details. It turned out that his friend escaped from the crossing.
“The girl was trying at all costs to calm the man and told him not to worry, that everything would be fine, that her friend was fine (…) It is true that sometimes, what he talks more, is a hug,” explained Bernat Armangwe, journalist at Associated Press, who attended the scene.
Symbol of “humanity”
After witnessing this harassment, several netizens offered their support to the volunteer. Even the hashtag #GraciasLuna (“Thank you, Luna”) has skyrocketed on Twitter in Spain. Among her supporters, Rita Maestre, a member of the Madrid city council, confirmed in a tweet: “We will not allow hatred to prevail. Those who saw in this embrace the symbol of the best in our country outnumber others.”
from his side, Economy Minister Nadia CalvinoHe stressed the image that expresses “human warmth, sympathy and solidarity” and thanked Luna, which represents “the best values of our society.”
The young volunteer also received support from the Secretary-General of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Federation Jagan Shapagin. He wrote on Twitter: “Luna represents the best we do. Thank you Luna for showing humanity to the world.”
Since their arrival in Ceuta on Monday, nearly 6,000 migrants have already been deported to Morocco, according to Spanish authorities.
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