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HRW denounces the abusive behavior of the Moroccan police against Sub-Saharan migrant

African men in their camp in the Moroccan mountains near the Spanish enclave of Melilla./Ph. 2014 Reuters
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Human Rights Watch is calling Morocco to stop abusive and unannounced raids on Sub-Saharan migrants wishing to cross the borders and reach for the Spanish soil. The American—founded international non-governmental organization that conducts research and advocacy on human rights, has issued an article reporting stories of three African migrants stuck in Morocco who have been beaten by the police or Moroccan auxiliary forces.

Emmanuel, an 18-year-old sub-Saharan migrant who had a terrible experience trying to go to Spain, «we had to get up at 4 in the morning to avoid the police. They caught me five or six times». «They beat me with their batons. It you fall, they beat you. Each time, they sent to me to Tangiers, Casablanca or somewhere else far away», he said.

Yaya, a 16-year-old from Guinea, experienced the same thing with the Moroccan authorities. Trying to climb the fence surrounding Ceuta for nine times, he claimed that the Moroccan, Auxiliary Forces «caught him before he reached the fences, beating him with their batons every time», the same source reported.

Foday, a 20-year-old from Sierra Leone was also caught and beaten. «The first time the Moroccans caught me and they flogged me. The second time, the same. They used a very strong stick…The third time I got over two fences, and the [Spanish] Guardia Civil caught me. They didn’t flog me, they handed me to the Moroccans»he said.

For the NGO, «situation illustrates a key problem with EU migration cooperation with other countries: reliance on Morocco to keep people away gives Spain and the EU an incentive to tolerate Morocco’s abuse of migrants». «Spain and Morocco have the right to control their borders, but not with such brutality and disregard for people’s rights», it said.

In particular, it calls on the kingdom to «put an end to abusive and unannounced raids in migrant camps and investigate all allegations of excessive use of force by the police and the Moroccan auxiliary forces during these raids».

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