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The European Union Does Not See the Violations Against Migrants Crossing the Sahara


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During this month the European Union and the Kingdom of Morocco signed several important financial agreements. 

Half a billion euros immediately for the new Mohammed VI Investment Fund, 6.5 billion over the next few years for the Moroccan economy. The two sides signed five cooperation programs focused on social protection, support for the green transition and public administration reform, financial inclusion and migration management. In addition, additional programs, adopted in 2022, with Morocco, for 126 million euros, will have to be signed in the coming months.

For his part, Nasser Bourita, Moroccan Foreign Minister, warmly welcomed these announcements and welcomed the progress made: “If 2022 was the year of the development of relations between Morocco and the EU through the projects undertaken, the 2023 will be one of the strongest commitment and ambitions. Rabat intends to “further develop” cooperation with the EU in the fields of security and immigration this year.

Although the corruption investigation by several MEPs led to the abolition of the friendship groups created by Morocco within the European Parliament, these groups have evidently carried out their task admirably. By friendship groups we mean the undeclared lobbies that King Mohammed VI had hired by contacting French, Italian and Spanish MEPs to promote the interests of his Kingdom within the EU and to conceal and censor the various human rights violations committed on immigrants, the lack of democracy and freedom imposed on the Moroccan people,

The Kingdom of Morocco spent millions of euros to secure the services of contacted MEPs using informal and cash payments that transformed the lobbying work into a well-organized and hidden blatant corruption network, until the Belgian judiciary began investigations. A web of corruption in which former Italian MEP Pier Antonio Panzeri was the linchpin.

Along with this corruption operation there was an intense espionage work managed by the Directorate General of the DGED, the Moroccan secret services that play a sinister role in controlling the population and suppressing in the bud any dissent that could even remotely question the divine right of the King Mohammed VI to decide the fate of the country by preventing any form of democracy. The main objective of the Moroccan regime was to ensure the censorship of crimes and repression carried out in Western Sahara and, at the same time, reinforce the concept that this territory belongs to Morocco and create a negative image for neighboring Algeria, a nation historically an enemy of the royal family Moroccan.

Human rights violations in Morocco have also multiplied in quantity and quality, taking advantage of the Covid-19 pandemic period, and have extended to hitherto spared categories, reveals Hakima Chaoui, a member of the Moroccan association for human rights. Ms. Chaoui explained that “there is a violation of citizens’ fundamental rights, such as the right to work”, which has led to “very high” unemployment and poverty rates which force thousands of young people to take the dangerous path of illegal immigration, risking their lives crossing the Mediterranean.

The exploitation of workers in Morocco has two faces. It is not limited to the national level alone, but crosses the borders with foreign exploitation carried out by multinationals. In this context, the violation of the right to health and the right to study after the adoption of the “distance learning” formula and the consequent widening of the gap between the classes, between those who have the ability and those who do not have the necessary means to benefit from this form of education.

Since 2019 there has been a significant setback with respect to the achievements for which the human rights movement has fought in Morocco, such as the right to protest and demonstrate peacefully. Freedom of the press and of expression have also undergone various setbacks and severe limitations. It is becoming increasingly difficult for independent journalists to exercise their right to information and criticism in their country and many are following the path of exile. In Morocco, a journalist can only thrive if he agrees to be King Mohammed VI’s propaganda cashier.

Since the beginning of this year, the propaganda of the Kingdom of Morocco has focused on making the international community believe that King Mohammed VI (through guidelines drawn up by him personally) is promoting the socio-economic integration of migrants in his territory, emphasizing Morocco’s attachment to a multidimensional approach based on solidarity and human rights of migrants.

The massacre of dozens of people from sub-Saharan Africa on the border with the Spanish enclave of Melilla highlights a different reality. Amnesty International in a report published recently denounces cover-up maneuvers of human rights violations of immigrants. A cover-up tolerated by the European Union.

The last frontier before Europe, Morocco is a privileged crossing point for many migrants forced into exile. The latter mostly come from sub-Saharan Africa, but undesirable in Europe, find themselves stuck in their journey of exile, victims of cynical bargaining between the European Union and Morocco. The financial stakes and the prospect for Morocco to integrate into the European Union lead him to act zealously towards these migrants, but also towards his own compatriots.

Morocco tends to dissuade migrants from continuing their journey to Europe via its territory. The war against the African poor is an integral part of the cooperation agreements between Morocco and the European Union. To prevent candidates for exile, whether foreign or national, from leaving Moroccan territory, Morocco actively participates in European Union border control, in particular through joint patrols with Spain under the Sive program (Integrated System of Electronic Surveillance).

This very sophisticated control system extends over the entire southern border of Spain, from the Canary Islands to Almeria via Ceuta and Melilla. This militarization of the Mediterranean border has made crossing the Strait of Gibraltar more difficult and forces candidates for exile to take longer and more dangerous migratory routes, thus exposing them to the risk of losing their lives on the high seas. security forces.

Internally, Morocco adopted, in November 2003, the law n. 02-03 relating to the entry and stay of foreigners in Morocco, irregular emigration and immigration which establishes, in particular, an emigration crime. Thus, it establishes a legal framework that allows Morocco to arrest migrants or its nationals who attempt to leave its territory to travel to Europe “illegally”, in violation of the right to “leave any country, including one’s own” enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Rights Humans of 1948.

In its fight (overpaid by Europe) against irregular immigration, Morocco not only controls the EU border, but also adopts a repressive policy against migrants present on its territory. To dissuade them from staying in Morocco, the latter are regularly subjected to arrests and roundups, most often carried out on the basis of their faces. They are then held at the police station for anywhere from a few hours to several days. Deprived of the right to seek the assistance of a lawyer, interpreter or doctor, or to contact a person of their choice or their embassy, ​​migrants are detained in inhuman and degrading conditions.

After being mistreated and stripped of their most precious possessions, the migrants are abandoned in a no-man’s land (between Morocco and Algeria and Morocco and Mauritania) where they find themselves exposed to assaults, rapes and kidnappings by gangs of criminals. Pregnant women and minors do not escape refoulement even though they fall into the categories protected by law. This incessant ballet of arrests and deportations will continue as long as Morocco has to show the European Union its active participation in the fight against irregular immigration.

Source : Farodi Roma

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