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Communiqué: 37 people have died at European borders: Spain-Morocco agreement on migration kills! [Melilla]

Melilla. Spain. We share a video and a communiqué signed by La Plateforme des Associations et Communautés Subsahariennes au Maroc (P. ASCOMS), Caminando Fronteras, ATTAC CADTM Maroc, Association d’aide aux migrants en situation de vulnérabilité- Maroc (AMSV), AMDH/ L’Association Marocaine des Droits Humains.

Image above: The fence arround the spanisch enclave of melilla in 2006. Images by Sara Prestianni taken from storie migranti. Image licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license.

37 people have died at European borders: Spain-Morocco agreement on immigration kills!

Translated by Riot Turtle.

The 37 people killed and hundreds more injured on both the migrant and Moroccan sides of the border are a tragic symbol of European policies of outsourcing the borders of the European Union (EU), with the complicity of a southern country, Morocco. The death of these young Africans on the borders of “Fortress Europe” is a sign of the deadly nature of the security cooperation against migration between Morocco and Spain.

The first signs of the tragedy that took place last Friday, June 24, were heralded several weeks ago. The campaigns of arrests, sweeps of camps, and forced displacements targeting migrants in Nador and the surrounding region were foreshadowing this drama. The resumption of security cooperation in the field of migration between Morocco and Spain, in March 2022, has had as a direct consequence the multiplication of coordinated actions between the two countries.

These measures are marked by violations of the human rights of migrants in the north (Nador, Tetouan and Tangier) as well as in the south of Morocco (Laâyoune, Dakhla). The drama of this sad day is the consequence of a planned pressure against exiled people.

For more than a year and a half, migrants in Nador have been deprived of access to medicine and health care, their camps have been burned and their belongings looted, their meager food supplies have been destroyed and even the little drinking water available to them in the camps has been confiscated.

These punitive expeditions have led to a spiral of violence on both sides. A violence that can be condemned whatever its origins, but which recalls the systemic violence that migrants in Nador have been subjected to for years by both Spanish and Moroccan law enforcement agencies. Practices that have been condemned on numerous occasions by national, regional and UN bodies.

Faced with this new tragedy at the borders, and given the magnitude of the human death toll, which will unfortunately be increased, the organizations that signed this communiqué announce the following:

  • We express our deepest condolences to the families of the victims, among the migrants as well as in the ranks of law enforcement.
  • We condemn the lack of rapid care for the migrants who were injured, which has increased the death toll. We demand that adequate and quality health care is provided to all those who are in hospital as a result of this tragedy.
  • We demand that the Moroccan authorities proceed with the identification and return of the remains of the victims to their families, in collaboration with the migrant communities.
  • We demand the immediate opening of an independent judicial inquiry on both the Moroccan and Spanish side, as well as at an international level in order to shed light on this human tragedy.
  • We demand an end to the criminal policies financed by the European Union and its many accomplices, the States, certain international organizations and several civil society organizations that subcontract these criminal policies.
  • We call on the diplomatic representations of African states, present in Morocco, to fully exercise their responsibility to protect their citizens, instead of being complicit in the current policies.
  • We call on human rights and migrant rights organizations and movements to mobilize at this critical moment when the right to live is more than ever at risk.

June 25, Rabat (Morocco)

La Plateforme des Associations et Communautés Subsahariennes au Maroc (P. ASCOMS)

Caminando Fronteras 

ATTAC CADTM Maroc

Association d’aide aux migrants en situation de vulnérabilité- Maroc (AMSV)

AMDH/ L’Association Marocaine des Droits Humains

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