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Amnesty Calls For Justice And Truth On Spanish-Moroccan Border Tragedy

Spain and Morocco accused of 'apparent cover up' of events that left over 100 migrants dead or missing

It was a year ago this Saturday: the tragedy in which dozens of migrants died on the Spanish-Moroccan border in Melilla, one of the European country’s North African enclave cities. Amnesty International demands that Spain and Morocco provide “justice for the victims” and that there is an “apparent cover up” of the disastrous events of June 24th, 2022, when a still-undetermined number of people died after Spanish and Moroccan border authorities reacted to an assault on the border fence in Melilla. Amnesty says 76 of the estimated 2,000 people who tried to cross are still missing and it raises the death toll to more than 100, an estimate far higher than the one officially given by the authorities: 23 dead, according to Morocco. “The Spanish and Moroccan authorities not only continue to deny any responsibility, but also prevent attempts to find the truth. 

The organization argues that this entails “an obligation to investigate all the actions that took place there”, but in the past year “no official, Moroccan or Spanish, has appeared before justice for the rights violations that caused the deaths, disappearances and injuries of so many people”. Several international bodies, including the Council of Europe, have also repeatedly demanded from Spain an “independent and effective” investigation into the deaths at the Melilla fence.

The communicator, researcher and anti-racist and Afro-feminist activist, Qunndy Akeju, during an act of the Caravana Abriendo Fronteras upon her arrival to participate in the I March for Justice 24J ‘A year without Justice’ in memory of the victims killed, injured and disappeared in Melilla one year ago, on 24 June, 2023 in Melilla, Spain.  PHOTO BY ILIES AMAR/GETTY IMAGES

The Moroccan authorities have hindered the search initiatives for the missing and the dead”, denying visas to relatives so that they could enter and attempt to identify the bodies, most of which “are still in the Nador morgue a year later”. “Morocco has declared that they will not bury the corpses without identification, but they also do not facilitate the identification of the bodies”, points out Amnesty,


Produced in association with El Nacional En

Edited by Asad Ali and Saba Fatima

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