prison closed for a group of African migrants

Moroccan justice on Tuesday sentenced 33 African migrants to 11 months in prison each for “illegal entry” into Morocco, after a violent attempt to enter the occupied presidency of Melilla at the end of June, we learned from the defense. .

“The Nador Court of First Instance today sentenced all (33) migrants to eleven months in prison each”, their lawyer Khalid Ameza told AFP.

“It is a very severe judgment with regard to the elements of the file and the circumstances of the facts”, underlined the lawyer, indicating his intention to appeal.

“We hope that the Court of Appeal will rectify this harsh judgment,” reacted the Moroccan Association of Human Rights (AMDH) of Nador.

These 33 people in an irregular situation were prosecuted for “ illegal entry on Moroccan soil”, “violence against law enforcement officers”, “armed crowd” and “refusal to comply”.

The trial of a second group of 29 illegal immigrants – including a minor – which opened on July 13, was adjourned to July 27, also before a court in Nador.

This second group is also prosecuted for “participation in a criminal gang with a view to organizing and facilitating illegal immigration abroad”.

The 62 accused were among nearly 2,000 migrants, mostly Sudanese, who attempted to enter Melilla by force on June 24.

The tragedy killed 23 migrants, according to the authorities.

This human toll is the heaviest ever recorded at the borders between Morocco and Sebta and Melilla, which constitute the only land borders of the EU with the African continent.

A Moroccan fact-finding mission concluded the death last week “by suffocation” migrants who perished during the attempt to cross into Melilla, exonerating the police.

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