Marokko houdt 1.200 opgepakte vluchtelingen nog steeds vast

The 1.200 migrants arrested in the forest raids are still being arbitrarily detained and deprived of their liberty in different improvised facilities in Southern Morocco. The high number of detention places makes it almost impossible to trace the actions of the Moroccan authorities. Some of the identified detention facilities are an agricultural centre in Chichaoua, a visitor centre of the Youth and Sport Ministry in El Jadida, a student house in Tiznit and a caring centre in Youssoufia, and more. The detained migrants are subjected to surveillance and deprived of their liberty without judicial oversight, and fulfilment of basic needs is arbitrary, as some facilities provide adequate food and medication whereas others do not attend to the medical needs of those wounded during the confrontations. The situation in Essaouira is particularly bad. The centre holds 63 detainees, many from Guinea, around 8 of them minors, all surrounded by military. 3 detainees were wounded during an attempt to escape. They are kept in rooms without windows and do not receive adequate food. The detainees were asked to sign documents without being given time to read them, and people are left in limbo not knowing what is going to happen to them. Visits by friends, activists and NGOs to some of the identified detention places were denied, as the Moroccan authorities are trying to hide how they are systematically breaking their own and international laws. In the official rhetoric, the ‘evacuations’ have the purpose to ‘place migrants in Moroccan support structures’ and offer an ‘opportunity for migrants to integrate into the Moroccan social fabric’. How migrants are supposed to integrate when they are treated like criminals and prevented from leaving the detention camps is a question left unanswered. And even if there were effective possibilities for Sub-Saharan migrants in Morocco, the official rationale of ‘integration’ completely ignores the fact that the people who were forcefully taken from the forest camps around Melilla are there for the opposite reason – to leave Morocco and reach Europe. Destruction and detention does not ‘help’ the migrants, it helps the EU to fortify its external borders.

Beatingborders in Update III on detentions and deportations of Sub-Saharan migrants in Morocco (No borders Morocco)