Crackdowns on sub-Saharan migrants in Morocco is unlawful, says Amnesty International

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For Amnesty International the Moroccan authorities’ «large-scale crackdown on thousands of sub-Saharan migrants, asylum seekers and refugees without due process is cruel and unlawful».

In a note made public on Friday, 7th of September, the London-based NGO slammed the Kingdom for raiding refugees and migrant’s camps and bussing them forcibly to abandoned areas in the south and near borders with Algeria.

«This represents a worrying backslide for a government that in 2013 introduced new asylum and migration policy commitments to bring Morocco into compliance with international standards», said Heba Morayef, Amnesty International’s Middle East and North Africa Director.

Amnesty International criticized Spain also for contributing to the situation, by expelling in August 116 migrants back to the Kingdom. The organization believes that although the operation was lawful, it was carried «a day after the group had accessed Spanish territory from Morocco by crossing the fences along the border in Ceuta».

The speed of the operation is suspicious as it «raises questions about Spanish authorities’ respect for substantive and procedural safeguards during the ‘expedited’ return procedure», says Amnesty International.

«Despite the appearance of a return procedure, the Spanish authorities clearly failed to uphold fundamental safeguards and in effect conducted a collective expulsion of 116 people back to a country where they could be at risk of serious human rights violations», said Heba Morayef.

For the human rights organization, Spain and the European Union should find ways to cooperate with Morocco in a way that prioritizes protection of human rights and the creation of asylum system in the country.

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