Dozens of migrants were killed by Moroccan security forces on Friday 24th of June 2022 at the border between the city of Nador and the Spanish enclave of Melilla.
Moroccan forces launched massive attacks against people when migrants - media reports put the number at 2,000 - had collectively tried to break through the fortified fences of the Spanish enclave. According to initial media reports, the people killed fell from the fences or were trampled to death in a stampede and panic near the border fence.
However, videos shared on social media and witness reports show massive and brutal acts of violence by Moroccan forces, also against people already injured and lying on the ground. In addition, witnesses estimate that the actual number of people killed was much higher than the 27 reported by the media.
Video march of migrants to the border, Melilla 24th of June 2022
Video of migrants attacked and chased by Moroccan police at Melilla fences
Video of police violence against migrants in Melilla on 24th of June 2022:
Videos of police violence against migrants in Melilla on 24th of June 2022 (Age limit: videos for 18+):
Spanish-Moroccan migration control agreement kills!
Shortly before the tragic events of 24th of June 2022, a new migration control agreement was signed between Spain and Morocco. The killings of 24th of June 2022 on the border between Nador and Melilla in Morocco are a violent reminder of the inhumane nature of these security-based migration policies. The death of these African people and the hundreds of injured alert us to the deadly nature of the security cooperation in the field of migration control between Morocco and Spain and of all the European policies of externalisation of the borders of the European Union (EU), with the complicity of countries of the South.
24th of June 2022: A drama with premises announced
A statement issued on 25th of June 2022 in Rabat by various human rights organisations - including the Moroccan Association for Human Rights (AMDH), the Association for the Support of Migrants in Vulnerable Situations - Morocco (AMSV), Pateras de la Vida (Morocco), Alternatives Espaces Citoyens (AEC) and Alarmphone Watch the Med - stresses:
"The premises of the drama of this Friday 24th of June have been announced for several weeks. The campaigns of arrests, sweeps of camps, forced displacements targeting migrants in Nador and its region were foreshadowing this drama written in advance. The resumption of security cooperation in the field of 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 violations of the human rights of migrants in Nador, Tetouan and Tangiers, as well as in Laâyoune and Dakhla. The drama of this sad day is the consequence of a planned pressure against 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 burnt and their goods looted, their meagre foodstuffs destroyed and even the little drinking water available to them in the camps has been confiscated.
Alarme Phone Sahara also shares the demands of the signatory organisations of the Rabat Declaration:
- We express our deepest condolences to the families of the victims.
- 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 hospitalised 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 collaboration with the migrant communities.
- We demand the immediate opening of an independent judicial enquiry 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 organisations and several civil society organisations 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 and migrant rights organisations and movements to mobilise at this critical moment when the right to life is more than ever at risk.
In addition, Alarme Phone Sahara demands that African states act in accordance with their constitutions uphold the human dignity of their citizens.