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[ 07. Oct 2005 ]

Morocco/Spain: Deportations and Death

Crossing the border ....

On 6 October 2005 six migrants were shot at the border between Morocco and Melilla again. Spain started with deportation to Morocco, Morocco itself stated with deportations of migrants to die in the desert. Both, spanish and moroccan authorities use massive violence against immigrants.

 

From the 28 September to 6 October 2005 at least 14 immigrants died in the border fences that separate Ceuta and Melilla of Morocco. They are the consequence of the repression of Moroccan and Spanish "security" against the attempts to cross the borders of Europe by hundreds of men, women and children.

The people who cross the fences are impelled by the most elementary demands of survival. They are sheltered of the inequality, the hunger, the wars, and the political persecution of "their" countries. Nobody recognizes the right of asylum to them. They are human beings who organize themselves surpassing the differences of language and customs to fight for a better future. They do not deserve the bullets nor the blows, their anger is worthy of our support and solidarity.


Migrants die in Melilla


On 6 October 2005, the Moroccan interior ministry announced six more sub-Saharan migrants died in a mass attempt to climb the border fence in Melilla and to enter Spain, adding that some had died of bullet wounds while others had been crushed by fellow migrants. The Moroccan interior minister said that "due to the unusual strength of the immigrants, who were possessed by the strength of their despair, the [Moroccan] police legitimately defended its surveillance posts in front of the fence and six illegal immigrants have died". Ceuta, the other Spanish enclave in northern Morocco, had been the scene of a similar incident in which five migrants died, some of them shot, on 28 September 2005 (El País, 6.10.2005).


Deported to die in the desert


From the last week the Moroccan authorities carry out deportations of immigrants to the Sahara Dessert, in Algerian territory. They don't have into account any agreement with Algeria to accept these deportations. In this zone only there is sand, not even a city and much less water and food.

On 5 October 2005, the Asociación Pro Derechos Humanos de Andalucía and the Chabaka network of northern Morocco issued a call to condemn the serious violation of human rights that are being suffered by sub-Saharan migrants, most notably the deportation of hundreds of people to the Sahara desert which has resulted in between 12 and 16 deaths already. The statement also describes the situation of migrants in northern Morocco who are hiding in the depths of woods and surounded by the army as an emergency. The two organisations called on the UNHCR, the Red Cross and the European Parliament to intervene immediately, as well as criticising the fact that a repatriation agreement between Spain and Morocco dating back to 1992 for the return of non-nationals who have used Morocco as a transit country has been put into practice in these circumstances. They also lament the fact that the ? 40m in funding that have been made available by the EU, will "certainly... not be used to relieve the humanitarian crisis that thousands of sub-Saharan Africans in Morocco are experiencing".


Violence against immigrants


On 30 September 2005, the international humanitarian doctors' organisation Medècins sans Frontières (MSF) published a report in which it highlights that a large proportion (2,193 out of 9,350) of the people it has treated sought medical help because they suffered the "after-effects of violence". In over half the cases, the migrants claimed that Moroccan (44%) and Spanish (18%) police forces had been responsible for their injuries, with organised gangs and people traffickers also figuring in the categories of groups which caused injuries in over 10% of cases. The incidents reported by MSF, which it claims reveal "systematic violence and degrading treatment", include deaths, gunshot wounds, beatings and attacks by dogs when fleeing Moroccan security forces. Deaths have also occurred.

Part 2 of the report focuses on the patterns of violence and human rights violations suffered by "illegal sub-Saharan immigrants". They include systematic raids in urban, peri-urban and rural areas which often involve the use of excessive violence, unjustified blocks and checks on means of transport, legal/administrative irregularities such as detention in prisons and abandonment on the Moroccan-Algerian border, which is referred to as a no man's land. The report highlights that extrajudicial expulsions are carried out by the Guardia Civil (Spain's paramilitary police force) through a door in the border fence, contravening legal procedure and human rights commitments in the field of human rights. Incidents in the Moroccan-Spanish border areas are listed, including "arrests, excessive use of force, degrading treatment and abuse, sexual violence, extrajudicial expulsions and expulsions of persons at risk". The reported incidents are documented in the report using witness statements.

MSF describes this report as an attempt to "raise awareness about the lack of protection and defence available to this human collective", "illustrate the violence used by Moroccan and Spanish security forces against illegal sub-Saharan immigrants" and to open a discussion on other forms of violence suffered by this collective, such as inter-group violence or that committed by human trafficking networks and common criminals. The report is a reminder of the human rights implications of the EU's efforts to export its immigration policies to neighbouring countries.


Call for urgent campaign


In estrecho.indymedia a call was published: "Let us take the streets and fight, that the issue comes to the spain and european parliaments. We have to do something." Following demands are called to send to european politicans:

We order:

  • To the European Commission, Spanish Government and United Nations: the immediate research of these facts.

  • To the Commissioned High of United Nations for Refugees: the protection and asylum to people that demand it in Moroccan territory.

  • To the Moroccan Government the immediate engagement of these deportations and the respect to the human rights.

  • To the Algerian Government to effect a international protest in front of these facts. They have to try protecting to these deported persons of possible negative repercussions.

  • To the origin countries governments and embassies: research about these facts and defence of human rights of its citizens in Morocco.


Some actions across Europe will take place during the next days. For example in :: Barcelona, :: Malaga, Seville, Córdoba, and Frankfurt/Main.

This articles consists of parts from following sources: :: Statewatch News online :: 1 :: 2, :: estrecho.indymedia.org :: 1 :: 2, :: Medècins sans Frontières