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Migrants killed by Makhzen police: African Commission on Human Rights deplores “excessive use” of force

The African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights, “deeply appalled”, deplored the excessive use of force by the Moroccan police which left at least 23 dead among migrants of African origin, brutally killed while they were trying to enter the Spanish enclave of Melilla from Morocco.

In a statement signed by the President, Rémy Ngoy Lumbu, the African Commission on Human Rights, which follows “with interest” the human rights situation on the continent, expressed its “deep dismay” following the death of at least 23 migrants and the existence of a large number of injured, all nationals of African countries, on June 24 during an attempt to cross into the Spanish enclave of Melilla, bordering the city of Nador located in the northeast of Moroccan territory.

The commission deplored the “excessive use” of force by the border police to repel these migrants, saying it was “concerned by the arrest and detention of many migrants following this unfortunate tragedy”.

The commission recalled in its press release, “the importance of respecting the fundamental principles of international human rights law as well as the elementary considerations of humanity (Ubuntu) which enshrine respect, in all circumstances, for the inherent dignity of the human person, the prohibition of all forms of cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment and the right to a fair trial, in particular when it comes to migrants exposed to multiple vulnerabilities”.

To this end, the Commission invited the Member States of the African Union to make every effort to provide lasting solutions to the situation of migrants in Africa with a view to eradicating the phenomenon of illegal and irregular immigration, in line with the revised African Union Migration Policy Framework and Action Plan (2018-2030).

Recalling the commitments made by African States jointly with the countries of the European Union, during the various Conferences on migration, to strengthen the protection of migrants, to fight against human trafficking and to cooperate on the question of return and resettlement of migrants, the committee reiterated the importance of inter-country cooperation and solidarity between the countries of origin, transit and destination of migrants in strict respect for human rights.

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