Casablanca - According to Moroccan news website Alyaoum24, Spanish authorities have recently admitted to shooting at 200 illegal African immigrants who attempted to access Ceuta, a Spanish enclave located on the northern coast of Morocco.
Casablanca – According to Moroccan news website Alyaoum24, Spanish authorities have recently admitted to shooting at 200 illegal African immigrants who attempted to access Ceuta, a Spanish enclave located on the northern coast of Morocco.
Nine immigrants died in the shooting, which took place last Thursday.
“We had to deploy rubber bullets to prevent [the African immigrants] from reaching the port,” said Arsenio Fernández de Mesa, Chief of the Spanish Civil Guard, quoted by Alyaoum24.
While they were trying to swim to the shore of Ceuta’s port, nine African immigrants were killed and more than 150 were injured in the shooting.
According to the same source, the Spanish authorities announced the incident 48 hours after it had happened. A number of NGOs in and outside Morocco denounced the Spanish killing of the African immigrants.
The Northern Observatory for Human Rights condemned the shooting, which caused the nine immigrants to drown. The Observatory described the Spanish guards’ act as “inhuman” and “against international conventions on human rights.”
According to Alyouam24, the Observatory said that by saying that the immigrants died because they could not swim, the Spanish authorities were attempting to hide the real cause of death. After inspecting the corpses of the dead immigrants, the Observatory affirmed that the victims were shot using rubber bullets.
The death of these nine African immigrants is expected to stir an outrage both in the victims’ home countries and internationally. Jorge Fernández Díaz, the Spanish Minister of Interior, is expected to provide explanations before the Spanish parliament concerning the Spanish civil guards’ use of rubber bullets to shoot 200 African immigrants.
Meanwhile, the Moroccan authorities are amplifying efforts to prevent illegal African immigrants from accessing Ceuta. Without the minimum living requirements, some clandestine African immigrants, including children and pregnant women, have been lost in the woods surrounding the enclave.
Edited by Katrina Bushko
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