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Nador/Melilla Tragedy: Morocco Committed “Serious Breaches” and “Grave Violations” Against Asylum Seekers

The report, submitted by the Moroccan Association for Human Rights, recorded “serious breaches” and “grave violations” in the “unfair trials” held by the Makhzen against African asylum seekers detained in relation with the tragic events on the Moroccan-Spanish border on June 24, which claimed the lives of dozens of migrants.

The report, which was presented yesterday Saturday, in Nador, during a press conference in the presence of dozens of jurists, highlighted a series of violations committed by Morocco, amounting to “falsification”, to condemn these African detainees on “fabricated and heavy charges”, turning a blind eye to all the international agreements it signed in the field of providing international protection for refugees.

Among the violations that marred these trials, which lasted until late hours (after midnight), and which the association documented by attending the sessions, were that these detainees confirmed “they were beaten by the Moroccan security forces as proven by the wounds that were visible on their heads and faces.”

The report also highlighted that “these migrants signed the police reports without seeing or reading them, and they denied all the charges fabricated against them during their appearance before the judge,” noting that “some of them fell victim to fraud by the judicial police who blackmailed them into signing the reports in exchange for their evacuation.”

The report concluded that the sentences of these African migrants, who were arrested in connection with the events of June 24, were “very harsh and unfair,”

The Moroccan Association for Human Rights called for an international investigation into the Nador/Melilla tragedy, and held the Makhzen authorities responsible for the grave violations against African migrants.

150 human rights associations describe Spain’s closure of the tragedy file as “extremely dangerous.”

In the same context, more than 150 Spanish civil and human rights organizations described the ruling issued, on Friday, by the Spanish Public Prosecution, to close the file of the killing of at least 37 migrants from sub-Saharan African countries in the Melilla fence as “very dangerous”, warning against letting the tragedy “without punishment and without determining responsibilities.”

For its part, Amnesty International criticized the Spanish Public Prosecutor’s decision to close the investigation into the June 24 tragedy, saying that it “encourages impunity.”

It’s worth recalling that the Spanish Public Prosecution announced on Friday that it had closed its investigation into the killing of 37 African migrants while trying to enter Melilla in the Spanish enclave, because, according to it “no indications of misdemeanour were found in the behavior of the Spanish security forces during this tragedy.”

Nearly 2,000 sub-Saharan African migrants tried to enter Melilla from Nador (northern Morocco) on June 24th. The tragedy of these people in what is known as “Black Friday” sparked international outrage, as the United Nations condemned the “excessive use of force by the Moroccan and Spanish authorities.”

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