translation of article from www.aufaitmaroc.com 06/06/2013

Violence and denials of rights against migrants:

Organizations defending the rights of migrants say they are fed up

Updated: 06/06/2013 at 17:30

Nine organizations defending the rights of migrants and human rights, held  a press conference on Thursday at the headquarters of the Moroccan Association of Human Rights in Rabat to inform the public about the situation of sub-Saharan migrants residing or moving through Morocco. They denounce the violence and denial of rights which is inflicted on migrants, and plan to hold a rally on Friday in the court of first instance in Rabat at 13:30.
The Moroccan Association for Human Rights (AMDH), the Association for Light on Illegal Immigration in the Maghreb (ALECMA) and seven other associations have denounced resurgence of repression vis-à-vis sub-Saharans.

This Friday Morocco signs  a “Joint Declaration on a Mobility Partnership” with the European Union. Also on Friday, 21 Senegalese nationals appear before the Court of First Instance in Rabat, arrested in clashes with Moroccan police in the confines of their embassy in Morocco, while they were denouncing their precarious living conditions and the physical and mental abuse they suffer.
Believing that this coincidence of dates, which is not accidental, is an illustration of a two-track policy, new associations of human rights and the rights of migrants held a press conference Thursday to denounce  the abuse and denial of rights inflicted daily on migrants.
In the same precarious situation
Regarding the “Joint Declaration on a Mobility Partnership” that Morocco signed today, it is, according to NGOs, a “illusory partnership for the majority of Moroccans.” The groups fear that this agreement will result in “an increasingly  xenophobic and discriminatory policy vis-à-vis all migrants.”
Tbel of AMDH said joining this kind of partnership has “some small advantages over facilities for short-stay visas for a specific segment of the population.” He expressed concern at the risk of tightened conditions, repression vis-à-vis all paperless migrants in our country trying to get to the other side of the Mediterranean. ”
For him, it is necessary to add to this that the effects may include refoulement of migrants from Europe to Morocco, while the kingdom “had always previously refused to sign readmission agreements.”
For her part, Lucile Dumas of the Association for the Taxation of Financial Transactions for the Aid of Citizens (ATTAC) said that the situation of sub-Saharan migrants in Morocco has not changed for many years.
“We still have the same precarious living conditions, the same problems of extremely expensive unfit housing, equal access to a regular job with a contract problems, the same problems of access to care.”
Lucile Dumas, ATTAC Morocco.
She added that the controls, raids and illeahal deportations of migrants persist.

New crackdown vis-à-vis Sub-Saharans
Participants at the press conference also highlighted a worsening repression vis-à-vis sub-Saharans. The last date they mentioned was in May, when 16 Senegalese were arrested and deported to the Algerian border, after the confiscation of their passports.
It was after this operation that  Senegalese nationals gathered outside their embassy in Rabat to denounce this situation and request a meeting with a diplomatic official. In response, the embassy formally asked the Moroccan authorities to “dislodge them by force if necessary”, according to the lawyer of 21 Senegalese nationals to be tried today, Naima El Kellaf who presented this information to the conference.
Violent clashes were subsequently held, resulting in the arrest of 21 people, who are still in detention at the prison of Salé.
According to an advisor to the ambassador, the protesters refused any dialogue and ransacked the offices and staff cars.
Following a complaint filed by the Embassy of Senegal in Morocco, the public prosecutor of the Court of First Instance in Rabat, finding that the facts could be classified as a crime, have referred to the Court of Appeal before the prosecutor of the latter does not accept this submission.
Despite the status of certain persons suffering among prisoners, associations could neither visit prisoners or give them clothes or medicine, according to me Naima El Kellaf.
The new associations call for a rally to be held on Friday at 13:30, before the trial court in Rabat (Madagascar Avenue, Ocean area) which opens the trial of 21 Senegalese nationals.

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