Huelva Gate : Moroccan workers sex assault case reopened by a court in Spain

After temporarily dismissing a complaint filed by Morocco’s seasonal workers in Huelva, a Spanish court decided to reconsider the case. Speaking to Yabiladi, the lawyer of the ten Moroccan farm workers said that the case will be reopened again.  

Moroccan seasonal workers in Spain. / Ph. DR
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The Huelva Appeal Court has ordered the reopening of the sexual-assault case of Moroccan seasonal workers, who filed a complaint last year against their former employer, Spanish magazine La Mar de Onuba reported on Tuesday.

The decision was taken after the lawyer of the plaintiffs Belen Lujan appealed against the ruling of La Palma del Condado court, which temporarily dismissed, in December, one of the complaints lodged by four Moroccan female farm workers against their former boss in Almonte.

At the time Lujan told Yabiladi that the women «were not heard» and that «an appeal was lodged to make sure that the investigation is still conducted and that all parties would be heard».

Indeed, the Appeal Court pronounced its decision on May 13 and notified the parties involved on Monday, May 20, about it, stressing that the investigation was incomplete. Supporting the opinion of teh lawyer, the court said that the «investigation was not fully completed because the plaintiffs were not heard», the same magazine said.

Relaunching the investigation

This situation was denounced several times by Lujan who said that her clients were not given the opportunity to be heard by the judge. The lawyer recalled that only one of the Moroccan women was heard by the judge through a video conference, «which went badly».   

The lawyer, who is delighted with this victory, said that four of these women have finally managed to appear before the judge. Moreover, the Appeal Court sees that it is primordial to «implement new procedures to make sure that the case is reopened», the lawyer added.

In addition to the sex assault case, Lujan urged the court to reopen a second complaint, through which Moroccan workers denounced the difficult working conditions they had to cope with while working in the fields. The court has not decided on this case yet, the lawyer said.

Lujan rejects having the two cases looked into separately by the court, stressing that they are seen by these workers as «the same issue».

For the record, ten seasonal workers, sent by the Moroccan government to work in agricultural fields in Spain, said they were sexually assaulted by their former employer.

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