Moroccan court sentences 33 migrants to prison for attempting to cross Mellila

Dozens of migrants were imprisoned in Morocco for trying to climb over a border wall to reach Spanish territory last month.

A court in Nador sentenced 33 people to 11 months in prison each for a deadly attempt to cross into the Spanish enclave of Melilla.

At least 23 people died in a stampede On June 24, hundreds of migrants tried to cross the border into North Africa.. An estimated 133 people successfully breached the border.

A spokesman for the Spanish government office in Melilla said about 2,000 people tried to cross the border, but many of them were stopped by the Spanish Civil Guard and Moroccan forces on both sides of the border fence.

On Tuesday, 33 migrants were found guilty of “disobedience”, “armed assembly”, “violence against public officials” and “illegal entry into Moroccan territory”.

Authorities say the suspects were all from sub-Saharan Africa, and most of them came from Sudan and Chad. In addition to imprisonment, they were all sentenced to a fine of 4,000 dirhams (379 euros).

The sentence was called “very harsh” by the Moroccan Human Rights Association (AMDH) and other non-governmental organizations.

“We hope the Court of Appeal will rectify this decision,” AMDH said in a statement.

The second trial of 29 migrants in the case of an attempted mass border crossing has been postponed until July 27.