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Spain to ‘fully’ cooperate with migrant death probes


MADRID: Madrid will offer “total cooperation” with Spanish and Moroccan investigations into the deaths of 23 migrants in a mass attempt to enter SpainMelilla Urban Area, Pedro Sanchez said Wednesday.
The Spanish prime minister’s statement came a day after United Nation denounced authorities on the border between Morocco and Spain for using “excessive force”, describing it as “unacceptable”.
The tragedy happened at dawn on Friday, when about 2,000 migrants, mostly from sub-Saharan Africa Africatried to cross the fence from Morocco into Melilla, one of Spain’s two tiny North African enclaves.
“I regret the loss of life and express my solidarity with the families of the migrants who lost their lives,” Sanchez told Cadena Ser radio, pledging his government would work with the investigators to understand what happened.
Mr. Sanchez stressed that three investigations have been opened, one by Moroccan prosecutors, one by the Spanish prosecutor and a third by the Spanish human rights ombudsman. Dental.
“We must trust these organizations and I am committed to the full cooperation of the government with their efforts to clarify what happened,” he said.
Moroccan authorities said several victims fell while trying to run over the fence, estimating the death toll at 18 initially, but later raised to 23 after five other migrants died of their wounds. their love.
There are few details about the incident, but Spanish media showed people lying on the ground, some with bloody hands and torn clothes.
The death toll is by far the worst recorded in years of efforts by migrants to cross the Spanish regions of Ceuta and Melilla, which have the EU’s only land border with Africa, making them a magnet for people who want to escape poverty.
In Morocco, prosecutors are charging 65 migrants, mostly Sudanese, for trying to break into the border, a defense lawyer in Rabat said.
The Spanish prosecutor on Tuesday opened its own investigation “to clarify what happened”, citing the “grave and seriousness” of the incident.
‘Excessive force’ – Images of the violence sparked an unusually strong response from the United Nations, prompting border authorities.
“We see the excessive use of force by the authorities, which should be investigated because it is unacceptable,” the UN secretary-general said. Antonio Guterresspokesman for Stephane Dujarric on Tuesday.
“People on the move have human rights and people that need to be respected and we see them being disrespected all the time. We’ve seen that on both sides of the border,” he added.
On Friday, Sanchez blamed “people-trafficking mafias” for what he said was “a well-organized violent attack” and defended the actions of border police, saying the incident had “well handled by the security forces of both Spain and Morocco”.
Asked about his initial defense of the security forces’ actions, Sanchez said that when he spoke, he was “not aware of the reports and pictures” of the victims.
And on Wednesday, he reiterated his concern for border security officers, citing the number of 40 injured Spanish policemen and 100 Moroccan officers.
“I also ask that we put ourselves in the shoes of the wounded police and security forces, in both Morocco and Ceuta and Melilla, who have the right to an orderly flow of migrants and to be free from raids. violent attack,” he said.





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