Rights Organisations: Probe deaths of African migrants at Spain’s North Africa enclave
Human rights organisations in Spain and Morocco have called on both countries to investigate the deaths of at least 18 sub-Saharan Africans and injuries to dozens of others during attempts to scale the border fence that surrounds the territory of Melilla, a Spanish enclave in North Africa.
Moroccan authorities said the deaths occurred on Friday when a “stampede” of people tried to climb the iron border fence that separates Melilla and Morocco. Morocco’s Ministry of the Interior said 76 people were injured along with 140 Moroccan security officers.
Five rights organisations in Morocco and APDHA, a human rights group based in the southern Spanish region of Andalusia, called for inquiries into the violence.
In a statement published Saturday, the Spanish Commission for Refugees, CEAR, decried what it described as “the indiscriminate use of violence to manage migration and control borders” and expressed concerns that the violence had prevented people who were eligible for international protection from reaching Spanish soil.
The Catholic Church in the southern Spanish city of Malaga also expressed dismay over the events. In a statement released late Friday, Amnesty International expressed its “deep concern” over the events at the border.
The deaths of at least 18 migrants on Friday during a mass attempt to cross from Morocco into a Spanish enclave took place at a pivotal time for often rocky relations between the neighbouring countries.
Time and again, EU has been condemning migrants to death and evading its responsibilities toward people in distress.