For several years already, migrants, mainly subsaharans, have found refuge in Boukhalef, a district in the periphery of Tangier. Some just live their lives, others have been regularized or are being hosted by their respective community while trying to cross to Europe.
Subsaharans get harassed in the quarter or beyond on a regular basis, sometimes violently, by Moroccans reproducing racist ideologies.
Regularly, the authorities decide to evict migrants violently, which has provoked several tragedies.
On 1st of July 2015 more than 200 police officers and soldiers were deployed to the district Boukhalef in order to evacuate all the “blacks”. The security forces encircled the whole neighbourhood going from door to door to evict everyone who seems to be “subsaharan”. Under the pretext of moving out squatters (“The respect of private property is guaranteed by the law”) everyone was taken away. A majority of those “squatters” have actually been paying “rent” to a self-proclaimed landlord, often with a verbal contract only.
The authorities used emtpy and void arguments with a racist aim to “clean” Boukhalef of the migrants and in order to show Europe they keep playing the border guard.
This time again the violence caused one death and two people were seriously injured.
500 people were arrested and deported by bus to cities in southern Morocco. Others managed to flee and ended up in neighbouring forests or in the medina of Tangier, having lost all their possessions and looking for places to sleep and food to eat.
One word of Mr. Skakri of AMDH:
“The evacuation won’t solve the problems because the majority of the immigrants who left the neighbourhood will wait until the authorities finish the operation and will then return due to lack of housing.”
See here for the statement of GADEM about the current situation: “Tangier – Boukhalef district: Discriminatory evacuation of the non-Moroccan Blacks” (in French)
21/06/2015: Groups of Moroccans held a demonstration against the presents of subsharans in Boukhalef. Migrants and Moroccans who live together in Boukhalef stopped the demo and calmed down the situation. This 21st and 22nd June, another group of Moroccans threatened a house of subsaharans. They accused them of selling alcohol during Ramadan. Accordingly, they forced the migrants to leave their home.
On the night of the 22nd to 23rd June the violence has intensified. A fairly large group forced migrants in Boukhalef out of their homes (men, women, children, with or without residence permit), throwing personal belongings into the street (matraces, fridges, cloths, bags, tables, blankets).
Video filmed by a migrant activist:
“These are thugs, bums from Boukhalef but also other surrounding areas. They try to dislodge the inhabitants. The jealousy provokes hatred. But in my case, I rent my flat”, explains the Congolese.
Sit-in by Moroccans in Boukhalef against the “illegal behaviour” of migrants.
Ultimatum given by the authorities, asking the people in the squatted (not rented!) apartments to leave within 24h:
“If the flats won’t be left in the next 24hours, the authorities will be obliged to intervene to evacuate the occupants in order to hand over the so called flats to their owners in accordance with the legislation in force”, warns the ministry.
Presence of some police agents and a helicopter. The first migrants leave “voluntarily”: two buses with 27 and 36 people are taken to the South of Morocco, but these first evictions are without any physical violence.
At dawn of 01/07
Boukhalef surrounded by 200 soldiers, police officers and Forces Auxiliaires. Raids in the houses and arrests. The police eject migrants from their homes even if they have proof of rent payment, and even if they have papers. All black people are systematically controlled in the streets. The police goes from door to door to evict the inhabitants from their houses. New buses arrive. Migrants who resist the deportation are beaten and taken away by force.
One person was murdered: Mamadou Kone, born in 1986 in Ivory Coast, falls from the fourth floor of a building during the raid (picture of the body of Mamadou Kone). He’s brought to the hospital where he succumbs to his injuries. Up until now, the reasons for his death remain obscure.
500 arrests in 15 hours according to media 24 and “this will continue until late in the evening”.
A second person is injured by a steel blade and is hospitalised in serious conditions, another third person is severely injured.
Up until now, the police is present in Boukhalef, controlling every black person.
Just as the massive raids in the forests in Nador, which have taken place since February, this is another shameful attempt at terrorizing migrants at the externalised European border!!!