Migration : «Crossing the sea to reach Spain has never been for free»

Rumors circulating on social media these days suggest that several people were helped to cross the sea for Spain for free. However, several NGOs believe that it is fake news.

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Reports suggest that crossing the sea illegally from Morocco to Spain can cost more than 3 000 euros. But rumors these days, refer to the opposite. On social media, several people claim that now some can enter Spain for free.

The information took over the internet after a video was published two weeks ago. The clip, that was shared on social media, shows a boat offered passers-by to get on board for Spain.

Dragged by drug traffickers

The boats that allegedly offered to transport these migrants to the Spanish shores are not the ones used usually by illegal migration networks, Fouad Achraf from the Association Pateras por La Vida (Boats for Life) told El Confidencial. It is «a Phantom boat that costs 150,000 euros and is usually used for drug trafficking, it has three engines», added Achraf.

For Fouad Achraf, these young migrants «could be exploited for drug trafficking until they pay for their crossing».

Speaking to El Confidential, the Moroccan Association of Human Rights (AMDH) believes that drug traffickers «needed more people on board in order to balance the boat which contained a very large amount of drugs».

According to Fouad Achraf, this operation was at the heart of a series of fake news, adding that according to several activists and experts «crossing the sea to reach Spain has never been for free».

«An Arab Spring in Morocco»

According to Pateras por la Vida, unconsciously these «migrants have participated too in spreading the fake news». However, several factors have to be taken into consideration. Chama Darchoul, a social media expert and analyst says that false reports «are published by opponents and activists who want to create an Islamic state or others who dream of a free Moroccan republic and are disappointed by the false promises of the Arab Spring».

These two categories «want to destroy Morocco, to destabilize it and create an emergency situation, destroy the system and build a new one», she added. Social media have become «the only way for them to voice their anger and attract attention», concluded the analyst.

The same idea has been brought by Mohammed Benaissa, head of the Northern Observatory for Human Right (ONDH). He believes that it is a sign for an Arab Spring in Morocco. «People have stopped hoping for change in the country, they intend to change the system, creating change through social media».

For the record, on Wednesday, a twenty-old university student was shot to death while trying to reach Spain. She was one of the 25 passengers carried by a go-fast boat that tried to help these young people cross the Mediterranean.

More migrants

Moreover, Karima Layachi, president of the AMDH Fnideq, had told Yabiladi that young people are more and more tempted by this crossing. For the activist, these young people are «victims of the Moroccan state».

The activist warned against the situation of young people in the region who are «left out», saying that «it is not only a matter of finding a job for them», as «those who do not die in the sea die from the consumption of drugs; it is a real problem».

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