Rabat – A recent video shared on November 17 on social media captures another call for help from Moroccan nationals stranded in Libya. The footage shows the poor conditions of Zuwarah prison, where a number of Moroccans have been detained for over than six months.
In the video, one of the Moroccan nationals explains the miserable conditions in which he and his compatriots live. The speaker also addresses a message to King Mohammed VI, calling on him to intervene and speed up the process of their repatriation.
“We would like you please to intervene as some of the inmates are suffering from chronic diseases due to lack of facilities and medical services,” says the man. He also calls for Moroccan civil society to find a solution as soon as possible to their case in order to relieve their suffering.
The speaker says that they are detained in Zuwarah prison, which “is only a few kilometers away from the Tunisian borders and Ras Ajdir,” a small coastal town on the border between Tunisia and Libya.
“Some other nationals, including inmates from Algeria, Tunisia, Egypt and other African countries were sent back home, except for the Moroccans,” he says.
The large group of Moroccan migrants found themselves stuck in Libya after an attempt to illegally cross over to Europe through the Mediterranean.
Another video shared on November 13 and reported widely by local media featured the same Moroccan national saying that he and 232 other compatriots had been held for two months in Tripoli. The man said that he and his inmates had gone on a hunger strike to demand their repatriation to Morocco.
In response to the video, Moroccan authorities vowed to to repatriate the large group of Moroccan migrants.
“The Moroccans will be repatriated,” an official in charge of Moroccans living abroad and migration affairs told AP.
“The operation takes time and involves many people, but we are working on it,” the official said, adding that the Moroccan authorities are holding meetings with migrant families to reassure them.
The Moroccan Ministry in Charge of Moroccans Living Abroad and Migrations Affairs said on its Facebook account on November 15 that it is working to repatriate Moroccans stranded in Libya.
The ministry said that it is “following the Moroccans situation and is working very seriously and in full cooperation with all other institutions concerned in order to repatriate our citizens home.”
The ministry also recalled the previous repatriation operation, “which has resulted in the return of about 200 citizens before Eid Al Adha (sacrifice feast) through allocating two private aircraft deployed by the ministry for this purpose.”
“Since the process of repatriating Moroccan citizens from Libya is a priority, the ministry confirms its keenness to follow the mechanisms that will ensure the success of this process,” the ministry added.