Amnesty International slammed Morocco, on Wednesday, for imprisoning migrants trying to cross into the Spanish exclave of Melilla, Anadolu News Agency reports.
The Moroccan Association for Human Rights said, on Tuesday, that a Moroccan appellate court sentenced 13 migrants to three years in prison for storming the border fence of the Spanish-controlled city of Melilla in June 2022.
"Double standards dominate in Morocco as an appeals court increased the prison sentence against 13 migrants to three years, while none of the security forces was held accountable for the unlawful killing of 37 migrants at the Melilla crossing in June," tweeted Amnesty International.
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On 24 June, an attempt by about roughly 1,000 migrants of different nationalities to storm Melilla resulted in the deaths of 23 of them, while Moroccan authorities say the migrants used violence against the security forces.
The defendants faced charges of "facilitating the exit of people from Morocco, entering the country secretly, insulting public officials with threats and use of violence while carrying out their duties, illegal residence and possession of weapons."
Melilla and Ceuta are Europe's only remaining territories on the African mainland, and have been under Spanish rule since the 17th century.
Since Morocco's independence, however, the country has insisted that Ceuta and Melilla are yet to be decolonised. Rabat has attempted to argue this at the UN level but has failed to convince the body that the enclaves are non-self-governing territories.