The violence in Boukhalef, a quarter of Tangier in the North of Morocco, has reached a new dimension. Friday night, the 29th of August, a racist group armed with knives and bats attacked migrants and killed at least one person – a Senegalese – by cutting his throat with a knife, several others were badly injured and were brought to a hospital. Some of them are still in critical conditions. People talk about up to 3 more deaths which is not yet confirmed.
This is not the first time this summer that a larger group of Moroccans attacks migrants. In the night on the 20th of June an apartment of migrants was attacked after migrants were arguing with the landlord. Fire was set inside of the apartment and several people were injured after a fight. On the 15th of August, only two weeks ago, migrants and a spanish human rights activist were attacked when they were coming home from an African Festival in the city center. Women were harassed sexually. The police denied stopping the aggressors but let them continue and was even making threatening jokes towards the victims.
This Saturday after the killing, migrants gathered to do a demonstration and carry the body of the dead Senegalese into to citiy center to protest against this insupportable violence and to demand “liberty” and “human rights”. But they were violentley stopped by the police. People reported police officers beating up migrants while Moroccans could attack migrants without being stopped by the police. Many people were injured and needed to be hospitalized (so far, we don’t have clear numbers).
In all three events aggressors could attack migrants, shouting racist slogans without the intervention of the police. Witnesses report that there were not only racist mobs acting but organized groups with leaders. Migrants talk about a raising racist and threatening climate in the quarter. They are afraid of leaving their homes. One migrant present at the events said: „It seems that they want to chase away all of us and at the same time the Moroccan goverment prevents us from leaving. We can not suffer this any longer. The world has to do something.“
Since Saturday evening the situation as calmed down a bit with a huge police presence everywhere in the streets.