Témoignage des frontières

Un nouveau projet pour témoigner de la situation des migrants en Afrique du Nord

Il  y a actuellement des dizaines de milliers de migrants, piégés au Maroc en raison des poli-tiques frontalières de l’UE. La plupart d’entre eux sont dans l’impossibilité de rentrer chez eux en raison de la  pauvreté et de la persécution et incapable de traverser vers l’Europe occidentale. Depuis 2012 No Borders Maroc est en contact avec des migrants, coincés aux frontières entre le Maroc et l’Espagne. Notre objectif est de soutenir et de faire preuve de solidarité avec  les migrants dans leur résistance à la brutalité quotidienne et de sensibiliser le monde extérieur à leur situation.

Afin  de documenter, d’enregistrer et de témoigner des atrocités qui se  déroulent à nos frontières, payés par le contribuable européen, il est essentiel que nous fournissions un soutien technique aux  migrants afin qu’ils puissent enregistrer, télécharger, publier et  partager leurs quotidien.

No  Borders Maroc appelle les gens à envoyer des équipements techniques  indispensable pour aider à soutenir les migrants. En particulier, ils ont besoin des équipements d’enregistrement audio-visuel (aussi pour la musique), les cartes SD, clés  USB, téléphones mobiles, ordinateurs portables, disques durs…

Plus d’informations sur No Borders Maroc et la situation.
Pour soutenir ce projet s’il vous plaît contacter nobordersmorocco@riseup.net

Border Witness Project

A new project to give witness to the situation of migrants in North Africa

There are currently tens of thousands of migrants, trapped in Morocco due
to EU border policies, most of them unable to return home because of
poverty and persecution and unable to cross into mainland Europe. Since
2012 No Borders Morocco has been in contact with migrants trapped at the
Moroccan-Spanish border. The aim is to support and show solidarity with
migrants and raise awareness of their situation.

In order to document, record and bear witness to the atrocities that are
taking place at our borders, paid for by the European tax payer. No Border
Morrocco is aiming to  provide some  technical support to migrants so
they can record, upload, publish and share their journeys.

No Borders Morocco is calling on people to send their spare technical
equipment to them to help support migrants. In particular
–  audio visual recording equipment (also for music), SD cards, usb
sticks, mobile phones, laptops, hard drives
More information on No Borders Morocco and the situation in link.
To support this project please contact nobordersmorocco@riseup.net

Violence at the Spanish-Moroccan border

In this video migrants talk about their experienced violence at the Spanish-Moroccan border.
They blame the Spanish Guardia Civil for beating up migrants at the border fences of Melilla and Ceuta, using tear gas against people while they are on the several meter high fences and directly pushing back migrants from Spanish to Moroccan territory through small gates in the fences.
People tell about the Moroccan Forces Auxiliaires hitting migrant’s heads with rocks and iron bars.
The interviews were made at the 7th of April 2014 in Rabat and shown at a press conference of the platform “protection-migrants” at the 15th of April 2014, when different Moroccan human rights organisations demanded the “end of the violence against migrants”. (only in French)

Violence à la frontière hispano-marocaine

Dans cette vidéo, des migrants témoignent des violences qu’ils ont subit à la frontière hispano-marocaine.

Ils accusent la Guardia Civil espagnole de repousser les migrants aux grillages de Melilla et Ceuta, en utilisant des gaz lacrymogènes contre ceux qui sont   à une altitude de plusieurs mètres sur le grillage et de les refouler directement du territoire espagnol vers le territoire marocain par des petites portes dans les grillages.

Des gens racontent que les Forces Auxiliaires marocaines  frappent les migrants aux crânes avec des barres de fer et des cailloux.

Les interviews ont été faites le 7 avril 2014 à Rabat et présentées  à une conférence de presse de la plateforme « protection-migrants » le 15 avril 2014. Plusieurs organisations de droits humains  ont exigé à cette occasion l’ »arrêt des violences à l’encontre des migrants ».

New blog from migrants talking about their situation

Some migrants in Tangier, Morocco, the Sexion Doundou, started their own blog to tell about their experiences here and en route, and share their thoughts about life, borders, freedom and migration.

Sexion Doundou explained in their own words:
“Sexion Doundou is a positive thought. Because life can be two things. You either survive or you die. For now we are surviving, but we don’t know what will happen tomorrow. Sexion Doundou is something we created between us, to bring unity and solidarity. We came here with the mission to cross. So this is the kind of thing we can do to give each other courage. Sexion Doundou resembles the good things we do, we want it to be something positive, a way we can talk to our brothers and make them conscious. That’s our mission and that’s what we are fighting for. Because we are all struggling to make life better.”

You find the blog here: sexiondoundou.wordpress.com

1500 Migrants attempt to storm Ceuta – Guardia Civil beat them on Moroccan Soil

In the early hours of Tuesday morning, around 1500 people tried to storm the Ceuta border fence. They were heavily beaten by Spanish Guardia Civil forces who were operating on Moroccan soil. There are rumours of three people dead or at least heavily injured. The following is from an eye witness account.

Tuesday, 4th March 2014

In the small hours of Tuesday morning, well over a thousand migrants wait in the forest looking down on the fences of Ceuta. People arriving from all over Morocco, coming here to strike. Everyone’s organising and preparing themselves for the attack. Speeches are made, making sure everyone knows not to take weapons like knives, sticks and rocks but most of all, to go without anger. All people are focusing on having a better life and not violence. To surrender when defeated but prepare for the control and beatings by the police, having stones thrown at them and hit by their metal batons. Because one thing is certain and that is that the police will try to hit them and they will try to hurt them.

It was clear from the beginning that the police already had information and were prepared for the attack. Guards were there on stand by three days before the attempted strike. Boats and a sea plane were already in the water, lines of riot vans and bus loads more security than usual were stationed on land. Everybody were ready to strike as one, but with the large body of people, it was difficult to put into effect. People split into groups and formed into waves for the attack.

The first wave made it to the doors of a sea drainage tunnel close to the fence. Moroccan guards were blocking the tunnel with a line of police at the entrance, police cars parked in front of them. More guards stood on the top, throwing rocks at the migrants. There were also hundreds of Spanish Guardia Civil on the Moroccan side, prepared to join the Moroccan forces. The wave continued regardless and attempted to pass the blockade and over onto the beach, towards the fence. Everyone swarmed the police but also themselves, causing people to fall and be trampled by others. The Spanish Guardia Civil as well as the Moroccan forces took the opportunity to start beating people. People fought back with words, shouting things like “why do you kill our brothers and sisters?” and “you are killers!”, referring to the 6th February, when at least 15 people were killed in the water from attacks by Guardia Civil armed with rubber bullets and tear gas. The police just beat them harder. They beat people again and again, on their legs, arms and head.

Unbelievably and of course, illegally, Spanish Guardia Civil forces were operating on Moroccan soil. They were wearing black masks to hide their identity while they hit people violently with their batons and smothering them with tear gas. Everybody had no choice but to surrender. They tied peoples hands together, beating people more as they were doing so. They took large groups to Tetouan police station, keeping them in the car park because there were so many. They gave no food to the people and instead continued to beat them.

The second and third wave came behind while other people were being controlled. The same thing happened to the rest of the people, they were taken to the police station. Everyone was split into groups coinciding the towns they had come from. And eventually, people were taken to buses and driven away.

The general news in Europe, say that the incident caused no injuries to anyone. This is not true, Moroccan forces were seen beating people with iron bars over the head. It is rumoured that three people were killed in the attack, some unconscious people were seen to be carried away but it is unconfirmed as to their condition.

Dozens of migrants murdered by Spanish and Moroccan police in attempts to cross border in early February but over 200 enter in recent days

The 6th of February has become a common reference when talking about police brutality at the European border. On this day the Spanish Guardia Civil shocked many people by showing what means they are ready to put into practice in order to stop migration, this day leading to the death of at least 17 people. A group of Camerounese migrants, who were in the water that, have told us what they experienced that day. The following is a summary of their stories.

Early in the morning of the 6th of February a group of 400 migrants (mostly Camerounese) went down to the beach in Fnideq close to the border to Spain, and started swimming towards Ceuta. While doing so they were being attacked by Moroccan military police, but also Spanish police started to shoot with rubber bullets at the migrants while they were still at the Moroccan side, as well as at the people who made it to the Spanish side. They were shooting both directly at people and at the floating implements that some people needed because they were not able to swim. This caused several people to drown. Apart from that, there were Guardia Civil officers in a boat with a Spanish flag who were pumping tear-gas into the water as well as sailing over people.

There was a mass panic attack in the water when some migrants tried to continue making their way to Spain, while others tried to escape the bullets and tear gas by returning to the Moroccan side.
Officially 17 people are announced to be dead, but according to these Cameroonian people, more than 25 people died, and others are still missing.

Around 200 people made it to the beach in Ceuta, but were immediately pushed back by the Guardia Civil through a small gate in the fence surrounding the Spanish enclave, without being asked any questions or being registered as having been in Spain. At the Moroccan side all the migrants were brought to the police station in Tetouan, and from there deported to different places in Morocco from where they had to sort out themselves.

Thursday, the 28th of February, there was an assault made on the fence surrounding Melilla by around 300 migrants. More than 200 of them made it to the Spanish side, leaving 35 injured, according to mainstream media.

Saturday, the 1st of March, a smaller group of migrants attempted to swim to Ceuta next to the village Benzú. Around 20-30 people were caught on the Moroccan side, forced to give their names and afterwards escorted away one by one. Most of the people had problems walking after being injured during the attempt to cross. 4 people made it to Ceuta, and once on the beach they were given emergency blankets, and afterwards taken away in cars.

This just shows that, even though Europe are spending tons of money to “secure” the border, paying Spanish cops and paying corrupt Moroccan police who employs local bandits, people in bigger or smaller numbers manage to cross the border all the time.

Unstable Housing- an ongoing problem for migrating people in Morocco

In recent weeks, there has been a lot less direct police interference of migrants in Tangier, ever since the death of Cédric, and the following riot, there has been some respite from raids.

But the ever present problem of unstable housing is as serious as ever.

Previously, the combination of police harassment and the lethal threat that posed, along with unstable housing and racism, were clearly the main contributors to deteriorating mental health, and factors that make their situation impossible.

Now, police harassment is less of a problem, and raids timed for the element of surprise have ceased for the moment.

But these raids was only one factor among many that made life difficult.

Daily racism directed at migrants from nearly all corners of Moroccan society is the largest factor to blame for the difficulty in finding stable housing.

Many migrants live in squatted apartments, some paying rent to fake landlords, staying in each house for little more than a few weeks at a time. The communal lifestyle means that an apartment rented cheaply is sufficient for up to twenty people to live together, yet keeping the same tenancy is almost impossible. Hostility from neighbours and landlords normally excludes migrants from renting legitimately.

Rent can be very cheap here, and simple homes do not need to cost a lot, and although finances are another challenge

For many Moroccans, having black skinned neighbours is enough reason to contact police, or to harass or attack migrants themselves.

We here have witnessed the racist mobs throwing stones and wielding lengths of wood to attack migrants. Also we have seen many scars left by migrant attacks, where people have been struck with stones or clubs on their heads, arms and legs. Migrants who have lived in Nador seem to all bear similar scars from the violence they experienced there.

Migrants homes in Tanger are usually kept for no more than a few weeks, lack either water or electricity, or are part built. At the same time few have secure front doors, often due to the previously frequent police raids.

The extra cost of moving house and being cheated out of rent paid, sometimes means migrants are going hungry, at a time when they face great challenges in their attempts to cross the border.

It seems that what needs to change here is the culture of racism, which explains why people cannot live in decent rooms and apartments and live as equals with their neighbours. So the problems here have no quick fix, no single issue that needs to be exposed, but a gradual and difficult fight towards equality and modern attitudes to ethnicity and culture.

More and more, young educated Moroccans can see as clear as day that this endemic racism is wrong and does not fit into the world they want to live in. So there is hope that things could improve, but for the time being, the pressure is never really off the migrants.

Many more bridges of direct solidarity need to be built between those in Europe and those in Africa that want a more equal world.

Seconde mort violente au cours d’un raid de police à Tangers en deux mois : les migrants se lèvent.

Le quatre décembre est un jour dont beaucoup se souviendont ici à Tangers. Un raid de la police dans la région de Doha Boukhalef a causé la mort violente de Cédric, un homme camerounais. Les détails précis concernant sa mort restent obscurs mais son corps portait les traces de blessures à la tête qui lui ont été fatales. Il a été porté sur deux kilomètre de Doha Boukhalef en direction du centre ville dans un manifesation spontanée de la communauté des migrants. Se levant et prenant les rues par centaines, les migrants ont marché pour demander l’arrêt de morts, en portant le corps de Cédric afin que sa ne soit pas ignorée.

Ils ont réussi, et les affrontements entre la police et les maroccains racistes pendant la manifestation ont permis à la ville de réaliser l’horreur de ce qu’il s’était passé et se passe dans leur propre ville.Quand la police des émeutes a bloqué la route, les migrants ont forcé le passage les uns après les autres, et la police les a pourchassé avec des pierres et la foule les a chargé. Plus d’un millier de jeunes hommes marocains se sont rassemblés pour regarder, et quelques groupes ont attaqué la marche avec des pierres à maintes reprise. Les migrants, des passants marocains et un chef de police ont été touchés par ces missiles.

Les migrants ont fait entendre clairement et fortement leur message la nuit dernière, montrant sans peur et avec fermeté leur résolution. Par le pouvoir de leurmanifestation, ils ont rendu visible leur problème aux nouvelles nationales, s’assurant que tout ceci ne serait pas passé sous silence. Dépassés par le nombre et décriés par tous, ils ont tenu avec force et ont fait entendre leur voix.

Cette mort est arrivée seulement un mois après la mort de Moussa Seck, « vieil » homme sénégalais de 19 ans, dans des circonstances très similaires. Les raids de police qui sont incriminés font parti de la campagne contre la communauté de migrants de Tangers, transformant la région de Doha Boukhalef en un lieu de vie dangereux et très stressant. Les expulsions forcées des villes d’Oujda, Rabat et Casablanca sont quotidiennes, tout comme les portes enfoncées et les passages à tabac.

Toute cette activité policière illégale est clairement liée au programme de l’Union-Européenne de « protection des frontière », la répression dans les « Etats tampons » tels que le Maroc étant une partie de cette stratégie globale. Lorsqu’ils harcèlent quotidiennement les migrants et conduisent ces raid violents de « dissuasion » parfois fatals, la police maroccaine agit de fait comme des
agents de l’UE.Le sang qui a été versé dans les rues de Tanger incombe donc à la responsabilité des pouvoirs européens.

La situation actuelle est le secret sale de l’UE, secret à garder sous silence et à distance de ses citoyens. Honorons la mort de Cédric et le courage et la force de cette communauté de migrants en les aidant à s’assurer que cette histoire soit entendue à l’intérieur de l’Union-Européenne. Lorsque les personnes voient la sombre réalité de ce qui se passe aux frontières de ce « premier monde » et de
leur style de vie « moderne », ils ne peuvent plus ignorer la réalité du système dans lequel ils évoluent.

S’il vous plait, diffusez largement cette histoire afin qu’elle soit entendue.
Un slogan que nous avons récemment beaucoup entendu de la part des communautés sénégalaises utilisant le mot Wolof pour police : boumla.

FUCK BOUMLA

En solidarité avec tous ceux qui, partout dans le monde, souffrent du régime des frontières, faisant front avec nos camarades migrants dans la lutte ici à Tangers.

No Borders Maroc.

Second death from police raids in Tanger in two months, Migrants Rise Up

The 4th of December was a day that will be remembered by many here in Tanger. A police raid in the Doha Boukhalef region caused the violent death of Cédric, a man from Cameroon. Exact details remain unclear but his body bearing fatal head wounds was carried over 2km from Doha Boukhalef in the direction of the city centre in a spontaneous manifestation by the migrant community.

Rising up and taking the streets in their hundreds, migrants marched demanding these deaths stop, carrying his body aloft so as not to let his death be ignored. They succeeded in their goal, and the clashes with police and racist Moroccans during the manifestation ensured that the city paid attention to what evil things had occurred in their own city.

When riot police blocked their path migrants broke through their lines time after time, and had the police on the run with stones and crowd charges. Well over a thousand young Moroccan men gathered to watch and some groups of them attacked the march with stones many times. Migrants, Moroccan bystanders and a chief of police were hit by these missiles.

Migrants made their message loud and clear last night, showing fearless resolve and strength. By the sheer power of their manifestation they forced this issue into the national news ensuring this cannot be kept quiet. Outnumbered and against all odds they stood strong and made their message loud and clear.

This death comes only a month since the death of Moussa Seck, a 19 year old man from Senegal, in very similar circumstances.

The police raids that are to blame are part of a campaign against the migrant community of Tanger, causing the area of Doha Boukhalef to be a dangerous and stressful place to live. Forced removal from the city to Oujda, Rabat and Casablanca is common, as are beatings, and broken down doors.

All this illegal police activity is clearly linked to the EU border protection program, through which repression in ‘buffer zone’ states like Morocco is part of an overall strategy. Moroccan police are acting as agents of the EU in effect, when they conduct these harassing, disruptive, violent and sometimes fatal raids.

So the blood that was spilt on Tanger’s streets yesterday is the responsibility of European powers.

This ongoing situation is a dirty secret of the EU, to be kept quiet from its citizens. Let us honour the death of Cédric and the courage and strength of his community by helping make sure this story is seen and heard within the EU.

When people see the dark reality of what occurs at the fringes of their ‘first world’ lifestyle they cannot ignore the reality of the system they inhabit.

So please distribute far and wide and let the story be heard.

A slogan we have heard a lot recently from the senegalese community uses the Wolof word for police: boumla.

FUCK BOUMLA

In solidarity with people everywhere affected by border regimes, standing side by side with our migrant comrades in the struggle here in Tanger,

No Borders Morocco

Daily Racism and Oppression of Migrants in Tanger- Latest

The last few days saw the final eviction of the house inhabited by mainly Senegalese migrants, after a violent mob attacked the house over a rent dispute. Statements were made to the police from victims of the raid, and from the landlord of the property. A numbingly predictable tribunal took place in the Palacio de Justice in Tanger, where the Judge presiding ignored the migrants and ordered them to quit the house within two days. Continue reading

Tangiers: Migrant house attacked and looted

A migrant house in the area of Houmat Chouk, a poor neighbourhood in the south-east of Tangier, was violently attacked last night, Tuesday 12th November. Two Senegalese men were hurt in the confrontations, during which local Moroccans swarmed and entered the house threatening with knives and other weapons. Continue reading

Death of Senegalese in police raid called ‘accidental’

The Senegalese Consulate in Rabat has backed the Moroccan authorities’ version of the events which led to the death of Moussa Seck, who died during a police raid of a house in Tangier on October 10th.

Migrants in Tangier see a tendency for the Senegalese Consulate to back the Moroccan authorities. This time the decision came despite witness statements that Moussa had been beaten by police before falling from a fourth floor window, and that the exact circumstances of how he came to fall are doubted.

It signals the end of the official response to the 24-year-old’s tragic death. The Moroccan authorities also evaded questioning about why police forces routinely raid the homes of sub-Saharan migrants, operations widely reported as involving violence and theft, and during which four people have died so far this year.

Link: http://www.yabiladi.com/articles/details/20258/deces-senegalais-tanger-consulat-confirme.html

Migrant dies in police raid

On the 10th of October 2013, another regular morning police raid was underway in a migrant house on the outskirts of Tangier. The police broke in through the front door and stormed through the building, waking everybody inside. The residents, being quite accustomed to this kind of treatment, took their time without panic.

Witnesses in the building claim that one resident, Musa Secky, was found in the bathroom washing his face before facing his authoritarian audience outside. The officer that found him told him that he should go downstairs now or he will beat him. Mr Secky replied that he would defend himself if the officer was to try to harm him, so the officer took it upon himself to start beating Mr Secky with his standard issue baton. Within a few seconds the brawl was over and sadly Mr Secky was dead. He had fallen from a fourth floor window and had died instantly. The witnesses had become afraid of the consequences when the fight had started so they began to leave, therefore were not sure exactly what had happened. The police claim that Mr Secky had jumped out of the window in a desperate attempt to escape. The residents on the other hand believe otherwise. Continue reading

Police raids of migrants’ homes in Tangiers

This is a report by a UK No Borders Activist currently in Tangiers on his experience of being at a Sub-saharan African migrants’ house in Tangiers while it was being raided by Moroccan Police, who are funded by the EU. 

Having your door kicked open and police officers come storming into your home early in the morning is not an uncommon thing for a migrant household in Tangier. In fact this can happen at least once every week, so much so that the residents of the house will just leave the doors open most often just so they dont have to keep repairing them. The reason for this is to catch out any migrant that may be in Morocco without papers. If such person were to be found then they would be detained for up to 2 days before being taken to the nearest border, which for Tangier is Oujda, the border town close to Algeria. Continue reading

Moroccan Police Routinely Rape Female-bodied Sub-Saharan Migrants

Today via Skype Ebrima Badamassi in Tangiers reports that a Congolese woman that he knows was raped two months ago by five Moroccan police officers.

The woman was raped while she was being detained and en-route to the desert at Oujda, near the Algerian border. Ebrima report that the police officers who deliver detained migrants to “deport” them to Algeria regularly separate the women from the men.

After having dumped the men in in the desert – which in itself is a massive violation of human rights and international law – the police then tell the women that if they have sex with the officers they will be taken back to Tangiers or the other big cities where they were detained. Continue reading

BBC Interviews No-Border-Activist in Tangier

Ebrima (pronounced “Ibrihim”) Badamassi, a Gambian refugee and one of the founding members of No Borders Morocco, features in this BBC Newsnight report by Paul Mason on the human rights abuses being funded by the EU in Morocco carried out by the Moroccan police against migrants from Sub-Saharan Africa. Continue reading