Sunday, August 05, 2007
The Moroccan Security Accused of Shooting African
Several Moroccan human rights associations have accused the Moroccan security forces of killing two people in El Aaiun, capital of the zone of Western Sahara under Moroccan occupation, according to PANAPRESS. According to these associations, two other people were seriously wounded on the night of 30 July in the shooting by the Moroccan security forces while attempting to sail from the El Aaiun coasts. They claim that the Moroccan police arrested over 450 Sub-Saharan nationals (migrants and asylum seekers) a few days earlier during a large-scale combing operation on the campus of the north-eastern Moroccan city of Oujda near the border with Algeria. Those arrested among whom are six women and two children, one of whom four years old, were first taken to the Oujda police station where their mobile phones were seized before being driven out of the city in police vans towards the border. According to some testimonies gathered by the associations, policemen, soldiers and auxiliary forces surrounded these migrants about 4.00 local time and began arresting, mistreating and beating them violently with belts and hardened rubber sticks. Many of them got injured before police took them in their vans and drove away. "People who managed to escape the camp to the neighbouring forest were pursued by the security forces some of whom were accompanied by dogs. These forces searched the camp with bulldozer, destroying and burning everything in it," the rights associations complain in their statement. The organisations are calling for "the setting up of a thorough, unbiased and public enquiry into the incident in the occupied city of El Aaiun as well as for the release of people arrested and the restitution of all assets seized from them in the Oujda police station". At least 11 people were shot dead in September-October 2005 as they were trying to reach Europe by crossing the wire fences separating them from two Spanish enclaves -- Ceuta and Mellila. The Beni Znassen Association for Culture, Development and Solidarity (ABCDS), the Association Friends and Families of the Victims of Illegal Immigration (AFVIC), the Association of Congolese Refugees and Asylum Seekers in Morocco (ARCOM), ATTAC-Maroc, Men and Environment, Migreurop, RSF Morocco (Refugees without Borders) signed the document.