AMNESTY International has accused Spain and Morocco of trying to cover up what happened in the enclave of Melilla on June 24 when dozens of migrants died trying to cross into the Spanish territory.
In October, UN-appointed independent experts said at least 37 people died, describing the lack of accountability from both Morocco and Spain as ‘alarming’.
Spain’s ombudsman and its public prosecutor are also probing the tragedy.
The Amnesty report almost six months after the incident slammed both countries for using ‘excessive force’ and added their ‘abject failure’ to provide the truth about what happened ‘smacks of a cover-up’.
The tragedy occurred when ‘between 1,500 and 2,000 migrants, mostly Sudanese, attempted to cross the border’, prompting a confrontation with Moroccan and Spanish border forces ‘which lasted over two hours’, Amnesty said.
Amnesty secretary general Agnes Callamard said: “At this dismal six-month anniversary, the Spanish and Moroccan authorities continue to deny any responsibility for the carnage at Melilla.”
“We are here today to report on massive killings, forced disappearances, acts of torture, discrimination and racism,” Callamard told reporters in Madrid.
Both governments have insisted the migrants were to blame, with Morocco saying some died after falling while trying to scramble over the fence, while others suffocated as people panicked and a stampede started.
The Amnesty report’s accusations were rejected by Spain’s Interior Ministry, which issued a statement saying it contained ‘false assertions.. that were extremely serious’.
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