A Moroccan court has slapped 15 Sudanese migrants with jail terms for attempting to scale an iron border fence between Morocco and the Spanish enclave of Melilla last year, according to a local rights group, Anadolu News Agency reports.
The Court of Appeal in the coastal city of Nador sentenced three migrants to four years in prison, five to three years in prison and upheld jail terms against seven other migrants, the Moroccan Association for Human Rights (AMDH) said in a statement.
The NGO termed the jail terms against the Sudanese migrants as "very harsh".
Migrants can still appeal the verdicts at the Court of Cassation, the country's highest court.
In June 2022, hundreds of migrants tried to scale the iron border fence between Morocco and the Spanish enclave of Melilla, but were stopped by Moroccan and Spanish forces, leaving at least 23 migrants dead.
For years, North African countries such as Morocco, Tunisia, Algeria, Libya and Mauritania have witnessed attempts by migrants – mainly from sub-Saharan Africa – to reach Europe, hoping for a better life. While some of the migrants manage to reach their destination, others often die during the journey.
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