“The EU is ignoring the human rights abuses behind Morocco’s razor wire,” by Paul Mason for the Guardian:
Ibrahim, from Gambia, paddled into what he thought were Spanish waters and phoned the coastguard, demanding to be rescued. They handed him to the Moroccan coastguard and he’s now in Tangier. Amadou, from Cameroon, had tried to scale the border fence into the Spanish enclave of Melilla. “The Moroccan cops beat us with their batons,” he says. He was taken across the border with Algeria, near the city of Oujda 75 miles (120km) away, and dumped there with 35 others. Now back in Morocco, he lives rough, in a forest, reliant on the local mosque for food.
Gathering testimony from these men, and others like them, is not easy. They hide in the slums and forests. They bear the trademark scars I have seen on destitute migrants on all the borders of Europe: scars from racist beatings; scars from scrambling across rubble to escape the police. They have the deep fatigue and torn clothing that come with a life lived mainly under starlight.
Morocco has become one of the main transit routes for illegal migration into Europe from sub-Saharan Africa. According to the latest report from Frontex, the EU’s immigration body, about 1,000 people successfully swam, sailed or scrambled into Spain in the first three months of this year. But there are up to 20,000 at any one time trapped in what an Institute for Public Policy Research report calls the “myth of transit”…