By Scheherazade Bloul
By Scheherazade Bloul
Rabat – Amnesty International is calling on Spain to cease cooperation with Morocco on migration policy due to alleged human rights abuses suffered by migrants crossing the Spanish border enclaves of Ceuta and Melilla, according to a report.
The organization’s report, Fear and Fences published on November 17, looks at Europe’s approach to refugees and its border policies.
The NGO claims it has “photographs, images and evidence” constituting evidence of “blows with sticks, feet and stones” suffered by migrants trying to cross the fences on the border between Morocco and the enclaves of Ceuta and Melilla.
In September, Spanish Foreign Minister Jorge Fernandez Diaz said a human tragedy has been avoided due to the two countries’ cooperation in stemming the flow of illegal migration operations, according to El Pais.
“We’re seeing what happens in the central Mediterranean, in Central and Eastern Europe. If a humanitarian tragedy of this kind is not occurring in this area is mainly thanks to Spain and Morocco are working closely and very effectively,” he said referring to the European refugee crisis during the visit to Rabat.
However, Amnesty believes in practice the alliance has resulted in “violent raids” by Moroccan police in migrant camps around the two Spanish cities bordering Morocco.
On the Spanish side, the organization claims an increase in “summary expulsions” of illegal immigrants, which could violate the right to asylum.
The report was originally published to counter the European response to the refugee crisis, but has been released in the aftermath of the attacks in Paris.
“In the wake of last Friday’s atrocious attacks on Paris the European Union (EU) must resist the urge to further seal off its external borders, which would continue to fuel a range of human rights abuses while doing nothing to enhance security or halt the influx of desperate refugees,” Amnesty International said in a statement accompanying its report.
Amnesty urged the EU to adopt several measures to tackle the migrational influx including ending push-backs and other human rights violations at the borders; ensuring refugees have access to territory and asylum at the EU’s external land borders; increasing reception capacity and short-term humanitarian assistance in Europe’s front-line countries.