Moroccan justice sentenced on appeal to three years in prison 12 Sudanese migrants arrested following violent clashes six days before a deadly tragedy on the border between Morocco and the Spanish enclave of Melilla at the end of June. we learned Friday from a local NGO.
The 12 migrants in an irregular situation were prosecuted in particular for “contempt of public officials during the exercise of their function”, “rebellion committed in a meeting of more than two people” and “illegal entry into national territory”, specified to the AFP Omar Naji, member of the Moroccan Association for Human Rights (AMDH) in Nador.
“It’s a very harsh and unexpected judgment knowing that in the first instance they had been sentenced to 11 months in prison,” lamented Naji.
These migrants were arrested on June 18 after clashes with Moroccan security forces in a forest near the enclave of Melilla, according to the activist specializing in migration issues.
These arrests occurred six days before an attempt to force entry of nearly 2,000 migrants on June 24 in Melilla from the border post of Nador.
This tragedy killed 23 migrants, according to the Moroccan authorities – 27, according to the AMDH -, provoking strong indignation in Morocco and abroad.
This human toll is the heaviest ever recorded during one of the many attempts by migrants to enter Melilla and the neighboring Spanish enclave of Sebta which constitute the European Union’s only land borders with the African continent.
Since June 24, several dozen migrants, mostly Sudanese, have been sentenced at first instance to terms ranging from eight months to two and a half years in prison by the Moroccan courts.