A tragedy occurred on Friday 24 June after nearly 2,000 migrants from sub-Saharan Africa tried to climb the fence separating Morocco from Spain.
The incident resulted in the death of 37 migrants and the injury of several others. NGOs relayed videos of the incident showing soldiers beating unconscious people.
Two days after the tragedy, the court of first instance in the northern Moroccan city of Nador, which borders Melilla, charged 37 migrants with “illegal entry into Morocco,”“violence against law enforcement officers,”“armed gathering” and “refusal to comply,” their lawyer, Khalid Ameza, told AFP. A second group, consisting of 28 migrants, will also be tried for “participation in a criminal gang with a view to organising and facilitating illegal immigration abroad,” added Mr Ameza.
The Spanish Prime Minister, Pedro Sánchez, considered that this attempt to enter Melilla was “an attack on the territorial integrity” of Spain, blaming the incident on “mafias that traffic in human beings.”