The question of the violation of human rights in the tragedy in Melilla, which cost the lives of around thirty migrants on June 24, must be raised in Rabat, said the Spanish Prime Minister on July 3 in an interview with daily El Pais.
Asked about the images of the tragedy that he said he had not seen during his last intervention, on June 29, and in particular about “respect for human rights in such a situation”, Pedro Sanchez affirmed that “c It is the government of Morocco that should answer this question”. “We have to talk about what we are doing in Spain,” continued Pedro Sanchez.
However, he immediately qualified his remarks, ensuring “recognition of the effort made by Morocco, which suffers from migratory pressure, to defend borders which are not its own but those of Spain”, and evoking “solidarity » which, according to him, Spain and Europe must demonstrate vis-à-vis Morocco.
On June 24, at least 23 African migrants died in the attempt by around 2,000 people to force their way into Melilla, according to Moroccan authorities, the heaviest ever recorded at the borders between Morocco and the two enclaves. . NGOs identify “at least 37” dead.
Footage released several hours later revealed acts of brutality, with bodies strewn on the ground, Moroccan police beatings and Spanish security forces firing tear gas at men hanging from fences, according to the report. NGO Human Rights Watch (HRW).
Melilla is, with the city of Ceuta, one of the two Spanish enclaves located on the northern coast of Morocco, the only land borders of the European Union with the African continent.
For the Prime Minister, Melilla is “the last episode of a tragedy that began long before, several kilometers away”, speaking again of a violent attack, with “armed” men, and of an orchestrated event by the “mafias”, an argument that the Spanish government has never ceased to brandish since this affair. The human toll of the tragedy is not yet officially known and for the moment, the authorities evoke “thirty” deaths, the heaviest ever recorded on the borders between Morocco and the two enclaves. This assessment provoked international indignation, with in particular remarks of a rare severity on the part of the UN, as well as the opening of two investigations in Spain and an information mission in Morocco.
This new migration drama at the gates of the EU comes after Madrid and Rabat normalized their relations in mid-March following an almost year-long diplomatic quarrel over the disputed territory of Western Sahara. .