MSF, Concerned about ongoing voilence against migrants in Morocco
September 5, 2012
Rabat, 05th September 2012
MSF is concerned about ongoing violence against undocumented migrants in Morocco's Oriental Region, specifically Nador. Bordering both Algeria and the Spanish city of Melilla, Oriental region is home to many hundreds of sub-Saharan African migrants trying to make their way to Europe. Since the end of April MSF teams have assisted increasing numbers of victims of violence in the region.
"Between April and July the percentage of people treated for violence related injuries during MSF's mobile clinics in Nador more than doubled, from 15 to 34%." says MSF Head of Mission, David Cantero. "Many of the people we have assisted have been hurt whilst fleeing arrest or trying to jump the fences. However in the last months an increasing number have told us that their injuries are a result of being beaten by security forces during attempts to cross into Spain."
During July's mobile clinic, MSF referred 20 migrants to Al Hassani hospital in Nador where they received care from Moroccan health staff. Nine of these 20 had to be hospitalised for trauma injuries, including cranial injuries and fractures of the jaw, femur, arms and legs, and three people required surgery.
In Oujda, approximately 100 kilometres southwest of Nador, the number of victims of violence assisted by MSF teams, either directly or by referrals to Moroccan health services, tripled from 42 in June to more than 130 in July.
"The fact that we have seen so many victims of violence in Oujda in July highlights the fact that many sick and injured migrants have been deported across the border with Algeria and have crossed back into Oujda." explains Cantero. "It also underlines the lack of adequate assistance in Nador and the urgent need for more non-governmental and international organisations to increase activities there.”
MSF would like to increase its mobile clinic activities and support to health services in Nador in order to ensure that undocumented migrants can receive the medical assistance they need.