they are beaten to death at Europe's doors

Tagged as: anti-militarism migration repression social_struggles
Neighbourhoods: melilla

The situation in Melilla is getting worse everyday. Being one of the doors to Europe, many Africans try their luck jumping the double fence with the hope to get a better life. Jumping the fence is extremely dangerous so those who cannot afford an open boat face this option. But the police and the army from both sides, Spain and Morocco are worse than the sharp razors of the 6 meters fence.


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Morocco has again acted forcefully against illegal immigration, but this time, with extreme force.

A new raid on Monday morning on the several Sub-Saharan camps that are scattered from Segangan to Marihuari, have managed to drastically reduced the number of people that are waiting for an opportunity to get into Melilla, but has also sowed the adjoining forest of the autonomous city with blood and tears. 

Everything was predicting the worse when on Sunday morning; none of these candidates to clandestine immigrants were showing up around the common places on the Gurugú’s slope.

Asis, a young Senegalese was saying with half smile in his face: “When there is no one here, the reasons are well known”.  In fact, continuous raids performed by the Moroccan Military Forces have considerably reduced the number of people in the last weeks.

The few remaining around Melilla were going to have a go that night.

When they try to enter the city in groups they are normally confined in particular places to avoid being seen, to be able to concentrate and to pray in groups before confronting death face to face.

Sunday afternoon, a score of armored vans from the Moroccan Security Forces - similar to those used by Spain by the UIP (Unidad de Intervención Policial) – where showing in Farhana and the 4x4 Hummer H1 from the alawi Army were starting to patrol the road that connect “Cabo Tres Forcas” with “The Gurugú”.

Dawn was breaking on Monday when Abderrahaman, a 25-year-old man from Mali, was crawling in the junction between Beni Enzar and Farhana. Lying in the floor, with his body full of wounds and his face covered in blood that was oozing from his head.

He could not walk; they had broken his legs. He had a piece of bread and a milkshake that some youngsters have given him. But everyone else was to scared to help him. “They are scared that something might also happen to them”

To the question what happened to you, he answered: “They have beaten us to death. They came during the night and in the morning they have beaten us until they have broken our bones. Some were taken to Oujda but others were left in the fields to die”.

On the Camp near the Gurugú people were going out slowly, with extreme caution.

A few weeks ago, the authorities were estimating the migratory pressure to be a bit more than a thousand Sub Saharans. Now, they are less than 150, according to their own statements: “There must be around 50 at the Gurugú and in total, including the people from Marihuari and those who are hiding, wont go over 150”.

Most of them have a bandage on their arm or leg and is strange to find one that doesn’t have an open and recent wound. Their hands and arms are full of wounds.

Some managed to scape from the brutal beatings running into the woods. Others were abandoned by the Moroccan army after being savagely beaten and only manage to survive by pretending to be dead.

A lot of this people belong to the group of 160 sub-Saharan that on Monday morning, according to the Government Delegation, tried to access Melilla jumping the doubled fence. But only 5 to 10 men got into Melilla

They deny the statement and claim to be much less than 150 and that more than 10 manage to get into Melilla but: “ As usual, the Guardia Civil, expelled them again to Morocco. It is very frustrating, because you are in. We arrive exhausted, full of wounds and we get detained and expelled again to Morocco so they can beat us to death”.

None of them has been around those woods for more than 18 months. Those who have spent more time have managed to get into Melilla, are dead, or they have been killed after trying too many times. Some give up and stay trying to sort themselves out around Morocco or Algeria.

But going back home is not an option. So was saying Ousman, a 22 year old man from Gambia who claims to have entered Melilla in two occasions and both has been expelled back into Morocco by the Guardia Civil. He cannot get back because getting back is even more expensive that coming here. It is not only psychologically, but also economically. Moreover, the Algeria mafias forced them to get back to Morocco, to prostitute themselves or to do forced labor in the country if they wish to continue travelling down to the Sub-Saharan Afr

“They do not want us in Morocco, but neither in Spain. I have been here for over a year, I have managed to get into Melilla twice and they have expelled me back here were I only get beaten and ill treated. There are no human rights here. And we cannot get back home, it is impossible to get back” affirmed this young Senegalese that by his way of talking, seemed a bit like the leader of the camp.

That is why they are not going to stop trying to get into Melilla: “ Now we have to rest, we have tried several times, they have beaten us very hard. Most of us are injured, but as soon as we can we will try to jump the fence again”.

Some of them have seen their fellows and friends die. Others have seen how the Gendarmerie or the Moroccan army was taking some of them and never got to see them back: “a compatriot got into Melilla swimming through Aguadú. The Moroccan police caught him and after beating him to death got rid of his body. I could see it. It was neither the first time nor the only time. They killed lots of our compatriots and I don’t know what they do with the corpses”.

They are all male, around 20 to 25 years old; most of them come mainly from Senegal, Mali and Gambia, but also from Cameroon, Mauritania or Ghana. Those from the Gurugú campsite are Muslim and although they organize by nationalities or the language they speak at the end, it is religion that makes the groups. This is because that facilities the respect for traditions, and spiritual support.

But religion is another reason of discontent with the Moroccans. “Moroccans talk of their Muslim brothers but if they are black, they do not want them, it doesn’t matter if they are Muslim. They are very racist in Morocco and in the whole of Maghreb.

We are black and they do not like black people, regardless of their religion. They do not want poor black people on their land”. Affirmed the Senegalese leader.

That is why they want to flee, they dream of a better world, of a better future in the European continent.

They claim to have lived all the bad the things that are bearable and that anything that is to come can only be better.

They do not loose their hopes to get a better life and that is why they are asking for help: “We are not criminals, just poor. They are killing us in here and there are no human rights organizations to defend us. People in Spain and in Europe need to know what they are doing to us.