The tragic events of June 24, 2022 between the Nador and Melilla borders in Morocco are a forceful reminder of the failure of security-oriented migration policies.
The 37 dead and hundreds of wounded on the side of the migrants as well as on the side of the Moroccan security forces are a tragic symbol of European policies of externalization of the borders of the European Union (EU), with the complicity of a country of the South, Morocco. The death of these young Africans on the borders of “Fortress Europe” alerts us to the deadly nature of the security cooperation on immigration between Morocco and Spain.
The premise of the tragedy of this Friday, June 24, was announced several weeks ago. The campaigns of arrests, raids on the camps, forced displacements targeting migrants in Nador and its region were precursor of this drama, written in advance. The resumption of security cooperation on migration between Morocco and Spain, in March 2022, has had as a direct consequence, the multiplication of coordinated actions between the two countries.
These actions are marked by human rights violations of migrants in the north (Nador, Tetouan and Tangier) as well as in the south of Morocco (Laâyoune, Dakhla). The horrors of this sad day are the consequences of a planned pressure against the exiled people.
For more than a year and a half, the migrants in Nador have been deprived of access to medicine and health care, their camps have been burned and their belongings looted, their meagre foodstuffs destroyed and even the little drinking water available to them in the camps confiscated.
These punitive expeditions have led to a spiral of violence on both sides. A violence that can be condemned regardless of 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. These practices have been condemned on many occasions by national, regional and UN bodies.
Faced with this new tragedy at the borders, and given the magnitude of the human toll that will unfortunately be increased, the organizations signing this statement announce the following:
- We express our deepest condolences to the families of the victims, among the migrants as well as among the ranks of the police.
- We condemn the lack of rapid care for the injured migrants, which has increased the toll.
- We demand that adequate and quality health care be provided to all those hospitalized as a result of this tragedy.
- We demand that the Moroccan authorities proceed with the identification and return of the victims’ remains to their families, in cooperation with the migrant communities.
- We demand the immediate launch of an independent judicial inquiry on both the Moroccan and Spanish sides, as well as at the international level, 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, some international organizations and several civil society organizations that subcontract these criminal policies.
- We call on the diplomatic representations of African countries present in Morocco to fully assume their responsibilities in terms of protection of their nationals, instead of being complicit in the current policies.
- We call on human rights organizations and movements defending the rights of migrants to mobilize at this critical moment when the right to life is more than ever in danger.
June 25, 2022, Rabat.
- 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