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HRW lashes out at Morocco's abuse of Sub-Saharan migrants

10.02.2014
HRW lashes out at Morocco's abuse of Sub-Saharan migrants

RABAT

Human Rights Watch (HRW) on Monday lashed out at Moroccan security forces for "beating", abusing, and stealing from Sub-Saharan migrants in the northeastern part of Morocco.

"These abuses persist despite some improvements in the treatment of migrants since the government announced a new migration and asylum policy in September 2013," HRW said in a new report on Monday.

In a report titled "Abused and Expelled: Ill-Treatment of Sub-Saharan African Migrants in Morocco", the HRW said these abuses occurred as the security forces took custody of sub-Saharan migrants who had tried unsuccessfully to reach the Spanish enclave of Melilla, or – prior to September 2013 – as they were rounding up migrants without any semblance of due process to expel them to Algeria.

"However, research in late January and early February 2014 in Oujda, Nador, and Rabat indicates that Moroccan security forces are still using violence against migrants expelled from Melilla," the New York-based group said.

HRW also accused Spanish security forces of using excessive force while expelling migrants from Melilla, calling on Spain to stop all summary returns to Morocco at the Melilla border, and suspend forcible returns to Morocco of migrants reaching Melilla until Morocco demonstrates that they are no longer at risk of beatings and other abuses upon their return and that their rights are protected.

The report, which is based on interviews with 67 sub-Saharan migrants, said Sub-Saharan African migrants leave their countries because of poverty; family and social problems; political upheaval and civil conflict; and, in some cases, fear of persecution.

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