Melilla drama: New crimes committed by Makhzen against African migrants

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NADOR (Morocco) – The Moroccan Association for Human Rights (AMDH), Nador section, has reported on other crimes committed by the Makhzen forces against African migrants who emerged unscathed from the carnage of Black Friday, June 24 on Spain’s Moroccan borders, when dozens of migrants were brutally killed by Moroccan law enforcement as they attempted to enter the Spanish enclave of Melilla.

Migrants experience the worst abuses during their journey by bus for hours inside Morocco or at the borders, to name only the confiscation of their money and mobile phones by the police, wrote the association on his Facebook page.

Haoua, a Sudanese student remembers the beatings she received or the mobile phone and the gold chain that were taken from her, evoking the harsh living conditions in the streets of Rabat.

The Nador section denounced the blackout of the Moroccan authorities on this file, pleading for the condemnation of those who indulge in inhuman practices with regard to migrants, by stealing their belongings rather than ensuring their deportation.

Fourteen sub-Saharan migrants arrested on June 23, the day before the Melilla migration tragedy, were sentenced, Thursday, to eight months in prison in Morocco, the Moroccan Association for Human Rights (AMDH) and the defense reported, qualifying this sentence of “very harsh”, “unfair” and “unjustifiable”.

The 14 convicted migrants, mostly Sudanese, were arrested on June 23 during a search operation by Moroccan authorities in the Gourougou massif, near the border with the Spanish enclave of Melilla. They were prosecuted, among other things, for “belonging to a criminal gang of illegal immigration”, “contempt of law enforcement officers during the exercise of their function” and “disobedience”, according to a well-founded source.

As a reminder, 33 other migrants arrested in the same case were sentenced on July 19 to 11 months in prison each for “illegal entry” into Morocco. Twenty-nine others, including a minor, are being prosecuted before the Moroccan courts.

On 24 June, around 2,000 migrants attempted to cross the Barrio Chino fence, one of many border passages separating Morocco’s Nador and the Spanish-controlled enclave of Melilla, one of the European Union’s only land borders with Africa.

At least 23 migrants were killed and 77 were injured, according to Moroccan-Spanish official numbers.

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