Majalat
Morocco
Good governance and rule of law
Migration and mobility

The court of first instance in Nador sentenced 14 migrants, mostly Sudanese, to eight months in prison for “belonging to a criminal gang of irregular immigration.”

The migrants were also charged with “insulting law enforcement officers during the exercise of their duties” and “disobedience.” They had been arrested on 23 June in Gourougou, a forest where hundreds of migrants are camped in total destitution, near the border with Melilla. The day after their arrest, a massive attempt to enter the Spanish enclave took place, resulting in the death of 23 migrants.

Reacting to the verdict, Omar Naji, a member of the local section of the Moroccan Association for Human Rights (AMDH), said it was a “very harsh judgment against people who are only seeking refuge.” The migrants’ lawyer, MbarekBouiri, announced that his clients intend to appeal.