Crime & Justice

32 arrested in Melilla migrant rush charged with human trafficking, arson

Rabat, Jun 27 (EFE).- The Moroccan prosecutor’s office on Monday charged 32 people who were arrested during a mass attempt to cross into the Spanish enclave of Melilla.

The migrants have been charged with human trafficking, kidnapping a Moroccan security agent to use as a hostage, arson, violence and insulting the police.

On Friday, around 2,000 migrants tried to breach the border between Morocco and Melilla, leaving at least 23 people dead.

The 32 detainees, including one minor, have been transferred to the Moroccan border town of Nador to determine whether they will be jailed, legal sources said.

Another group of 33 people also appeared before the city’s prosecutor’s office on Monday and were charged with minor offenses such as damaging public property.

Among them are 29 Sudanese nationals and three Chadians.

All 65 migrants were arrested on Friday during the migrant rush on Melilla, with Moroccan police officers using tear gas, rubber bullet and batons in an attempt to stop the migrants from breaching the border control area.

At least 23 people died in the chaos, according to official figures.

But rights groups believe the death toll of one of the largest and most violent crossing attempts Nador has witnessed is higher than reported.

The Moroccan Association of Human Rights (AMDH) says the death toll is 27, while the Spanish NGO Walking Borders says it is 37.

Dozens of others were injured, 18 of whom were admitted to hospitals on Saturday.EFE


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