Morocco/Spain: Update: Appeal highlights the human rights implications of the transfer of responsibility for immigration controls to third countries - The situation in Beniunesh is critical

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Statement by APDHA and Chabaka

Chabaka and the APDHA condemn the serious violations of human rights in Beniunesh. Hundreds of people are on the verge of dying.

The Network of North Moroccan Associations -Chabaka- and the Asociación Pro Derechos Humanos de Andalucía -APDHA, after visiting the area of Beniunesh on the Moroccan side of the border with Ceuta (a Spanish enclave in northern Morocco) last Sunday, and having verified the serious violations of human rights that are taking place, issue an urgent call to the Spanish and Moroccan governments, and to international humanitarian institutions. It has been possible to ascertain, on the ground, that hundreds of persons of African origins - men, women and children - who were looking to be received on European soil, are on the verge of dying because the Moroccan police is denying them access to food and water. These people, some of whom are wounded, are being harassed relentlessly, without being given the chance to find shelter, wash or feed themselves.

The people who are detained are sent to the Algerian border, where we have received confirmation that an inhumane situation is also being created, in which there have already been several deaths caused by the cold and hunger.

As a result of this inhumane situation, several desperate attempts to enter Ceuta are taking place, [with people] trying to jump fences that are over six metres high. They are rejected by the Spanish police forces.

Chabaka and the APDHA lament that the Spanish-Moroccan cooperation in the field of migration is translating into this intolerable violation of human rights. This is why they ask both governments to stop this persecution immediately, and for these people to be received in a humanitarian fashion.

Nonetheless, they also call on international institutions to intervene urgently to stop this tragedy and to require the respect of the dignity of these persons and of human rights.


[Unofficial Statewatch translation of the appeal by Chabaka and the APDHA. The original, in Spanish, is below, followed by a letter about the situation in Beniunesh which the associations invite people to send to the Moroccan embassy in Spain, to the Spanish ministry of foreign affairs and to the UN Commissioner for Human Rights]

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Spain-Morocco: Appeal highlights the human rights implications of the transfer of responsibility for immigration controls to third countries

Situación crítica en Beniunesh
Comunicado de la Apdha y Chabaka

· Chabaka y Apdha denuncian las graves violaciones de derechos humanos en Beniunesh
· Centenares de personas al borde de la muerte

La Red de Asociaciones del Norte de Marruecos -Chabaka- y la Asociación Pro Derechos Humanos de Andalucía -Apdha- tras la visita efectuada este pasado domingo a la zona de Beniunesh en la en la parte marroquí de la frontera con Ceuta y constatar las graves violaciones de los derechos humanos que se están produciendo, hacen un llamamiento urgente a los gobiernos español y marroquí y a las instituciones humanitarias internacionales.
Sobre el terreno se ha podido constatar que centenares de personas de origen africano -hombres, mujeres y niños-, que buscaban encontrar acogida en suelo europeo, están al borde de la muerte al serles impedido por la policía marroquí el acceso a la comida y al agua. Estas personas, algunas de ellas heridas están siendo hostigadas implacablemente impidiéndoles cobijarse, asearse o alimentarse.

Aquellas que son detenidas son enviadas a la frontera argelina, donde hemos podido confirmar que también se está provocando una situación infrahumana en la que ya se han producido varias muertes por frío o hambre.

Fruto de esta inhumana situación se están produciendo numerosos intentos de entrar a la desesperada en Ceuta saltando unas alambradas que superan los seis metros de altura. Y son rechazados pro l

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