Communique on the occasion of the sweeps in Morocco since the 24th of July

Published on 1st of August, first signatories: see below

During the night of Tuesday July 23-Wednesday July 24, a group of unarmed Sub-Saharan migrant attempted to cross the border fences of Melilla [Spanish-held enclave in North Africa]. The next day, Moroccan authorities conducted sweeps in the Northern cities of Morocco. During these sweeps, hundreds of Sub-Saharan migrants –men, women, children- have been arrested, beaten and deported toward the desert border between Algeria and Morocco. Some of those that have managed to escape arrest have found refuge in nearby forests and are unwilling to return to the cities for fear of new arrests. Others have been admitted to hospitals in Nador, where there have already been two fatal causalities and numerous seriously wounded.

On Friday, July 26 the francophone Moroccan press reproduced unanimously and almost textually, a press release by the Moroccan Ministry of Interior in which the border crossing attempt is presented as a paramilitary operation by migrant armed with sticks. The press reports, deny or do not report the massive police operations and arrests by Moroccan security forces and the deadly consequences that have accompanied them so far, affirming that everything has been carried out with respect for the rights and dignity of the persons involved.

The “Conseil des Migrants”, condemns to the utmost the acts committed by the Moroccan authorities toward the Sub-Saharan population.

  • We demand the immediate ceasing of the raids and sweeps.
  • We demand justice for the two mortal victims and toward the hundreds of seriously wounded
  • We denounce the “media lynching” on the part of the Moroccan press toward the persecuted Sub-Saharan people.
  • We solicit access to the wounded hiding in the forests in order to safely bring them to Moroccan hospitals for necessary medical attention
  • We call on all social forces and on all those concerned with respect for human rights and the rule of law to give their support to this Communique