Glasgow Refugee Asylum and Migration Network (GRAMNet)

Bringing together researchers, practitioners and policy makers working with migrants, refugees and asylum seekers in Scotland

In memory of Clément: Stop the violence at the Spanish and Moroccan borders

The associations of ALECMA[1], GADEM[2], FMAS[3] and AMDH[4] call for mobilisation to denounce and bring an end to violence at the northern borders of Morocco. They are together launching a campaign in memory of Clément, an undocumented cameroonain migrant, who passed away as a result of wounds inflicted during unparalleled repression by Spanish and Moroccan forces. Repression against migrants has not ceased since the autumn 2005 Sebta and Melilla events, and violence at the borders in the north of Morocco is on the increase since late 2011.

On 11th March 2013, a collective attempt at crossing the border between Morocco and the Spanish enclave of Melilla was violently contained by the Spanish ‘guardia civil’ and the Moroccan ‘forces auxiliaires’. On 16th March, the association ALECMA lead a field mission supported by GADEM and accompanied by filmmaker Sara Creta in the forest of Gourougou near Beni Enssar. The aim was to document the consequences of police violence against migrants and to gather written and audio-visual accounts. On site, they witnessed the death of Clément, who had attempted the crossing of the Melilla fence on 11th March. He was arrested, beaten up and transferred to the hospital in Nador. According to AMDH, he had suffered a head wound and had an arm and a leg broken. As stated in testimonies gathered, although still very weak, Clément was sent back to the camp in the Gourougou forest where he died from his wounds.

This field mission led to the making of the film “No. 9”, a 15-minute film, as well as a shorter version (3-4 minutes). “No. 9” recalls the player with the number 9 shirt on football pitches: the centre-forward or striker who needs to score goals.  Among migrants, “No. 9” is a nickname for a person who leaves his or her family to attempt the ‘passage’, i.e. the border between Morocco and the Spanish enclave of Melilla. This border is embodied by parallel fences with a length of 12km, a height of 6 metres, topped-up with razor-wire fences and integrated into a heavy system of surveillance on both Moroccan and Spanish sides.

See the film here:

The field mission also led to the launch of the “No. 9 – Stop violence at the borders!” campaign to denounce the daily and systematic repression of migrants by Moroccan authorities as well as the implication of Spanish authorities in the crimes perpetrated against migrants at the borders of Melilla; to call for the end of violence and violations of human rights in the north of Morocco; and to demand an official investigation into the circumstances of the death of Clément and the other migrants deceased in the surroundings of the enclaves.

So far only Spanish, Italian, French and Moroccan media have relayed the campaign.

[1] Association lumière sur l’émigration clandestine au Maghreb (Association Shedding Light on Clandestine Migration in Maghreb  (an association of sub-Saharan migrants in Morocco))

[2] Groupe antiraciste d’accompagnement et de défense des étrangers et migrants (Anti-racist group of support and defence of foreigners and migrants)

[3] Forum des alternatives Maroc (Alternatives Forum Morocco)

[4] Association marocaine des droits de l’Homme (Moroccan Association of Human Rights)


One comment on “In memory of Clément: Stop the violence at the Spanish and Moroccan borders

  1. Pingback: Migrants in Morocco: ‘Go Home or Face Death’ | Glasgow Refugee Asylum and Migration Network (GRAMNet)

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This entry was posted on July 3, 2013 by in Blogs and tagged , , , .
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