Amidst reports of thousands of migrants crossing the border into Spain’s north African enclave of Ceuta from Morocco, viral images of a Red cross aid volunteer consoling a crying migrant man has moved netizens all over and earned the young volunteer high words of praise from the Spanish Economy Minister Nadia Calviño who thanked the 20-year-old for her humanitarian act. The female volunteer, identified as Luna Reyes is seen consoling the man by stroking his head eventually hugs him as he cries on her shoulder. The video and photos of Luna and the migrant man have evoked huge support for her compassionate act but at the same time ended up evoking some xenophobic and racists abuses from far-right groups. Luna was targeted online and she had restrict comments on her social media accounts.
Far-right groups including Spain’s Vox party targeted Luna on her act of helping the migrant as reports of arrival of more than 8,000 migrants in Ceuta from Morocco have been in the news, The Guardian reported.
“They saw that my boyfriend was Black, they wouldn’t stop insulting me and saying horrible, racist things to me,” the 20-year-old, who has been volunteering with the Red Cross since March as part of her studies, Luna reportedly told Spanish television channel RTVE.
However, Luna also received a huge amount of support from netizens who praised her act of kindness. Netizens trended #GraciasLuna as a means to thank the young woman for her humanity.
Luna also called her action of hugging someone in need as ‘the most normal thing in the world’. Although she said she didn’t catch his name but realised he had been tired and so she helped him drink water. And as he was crying, she held out her hand, which he clung to and then hugged her.
“He was crying, I held out my hand and he hugged me. He clung to me. That embrace was his lifeline, " Luna said. But Luna says, she hasn’t seen the man since that day.
The secretary general of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, Jagan Chapagain, also praised Luna for “showing the world what humanity looks like."
In a recent development, more than 6,500 migrants out of an estimated 8,000 who had entered Ceuta earlier this week were sent back.