STATEMENT: Police violence at the border continues to cause deaths in Morocco

15 July 2024

In response to the death of a young migrant woman at a beach in Akhfennir following an operation by Moroccan police forces.

According to witnesses, on Monday 12 September, a young migrant woman died of gunshot wounds to the chest as the Moroccan police attempted to stop the boat that she and other migrant people were about to board to cross to Spain from entering the water. She was part of a group of 35 people from Morocco and sub-Saharan Africa, who were preparing to board a vessel on a beach located between Akhfennir and Tarfaya in Morocco.

When the authorities reached the site, they launched a violent operation to prevent the boat from departing and used real firearms against the migrant people waiting to board.

The young woman who died was not the only victim of this police violence. Several others from the group were admitted to hospital, including three young Moroccan men in a very serious condition. One of them, who is in intensive care, was shot in the back. Two young people were hit by a car as they tried to flee the site of the attack.

In light of the incident, the signatories to this statement would like to emphasise the following points:

  • The use of firearms against unarmed civilians points once again to the exponential rise in the use of force by the law enforcement agencies in their operations at the borders, where migrant people are viewed as a threat rather than as subjects of care and rights.
  • The absence of mechanisms to monitor and supervise police operations perpetuates the impunity surrounding the use of force against communities on the move, denying victims the right to reparation for the harm they have suffered and leaving them helpless against attacks on their physical, moral and psychological integrity.
  • The externalisation of border control to the Kingdom of Morocco by the European Union and the Spanish State, which was recently endorsed with 500 million euros from the EU budget (an increase of 44.5% on the previous year), continues to exacerbate the extreme vulnerability experienced by migrant people in these regions and systematically violates their fundamental right to life.

After the tragic deaths at the border fence in Melilla, we cannot continue to accept that human rights are conditional upon economic partnerships between countries.

Rest in peace. Truth, justice and reparation for the victims.

September 13, 2022.

This statement is open to new signatories. Please send the name of your organisation to info@caminandofronteras.org

Ca-minando Fronteras

Asociación Apoyo

CIEs no Madrid

Comisión de Derechos Humanos del Iltre Colegio de Abogados de Baleares

Coordinadora de Barrios

Asociación Karibu

CP San Carlos Borromeo

Solidary Wheels

Asociación Elin

Mundo en Movimiento

Red Solidaria de Acogida

Balears Acollim

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