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Activists Want Morocco to Account for Border Deaths

There are growing calls for an investigation into the deaths of up to 37 people who died trying to scale a fence to enter Melilla, Spain’s enclave in north Africa. About 2,000 people stormed the heavily fortified border between the Moroccan region of Nador and the Spanish enclave on Friday. The Moroccan authorities say 23 people died and 140 police were injured during the attempt, while several NGOs say the number of dead is 37. There is concern that the Moroccans have already dug graves for the dead and apparently plan to bury them without investigating the cause of death or trying to identify the victims. The Moroccan human rights association described as “scandalous” the authorities’ plan to bury the dead “without investigating, autopsy and identity in order to cover up this disaster”. Spain’s president, Pedro Sánchez, has been criticised for failing to condemn the Moroccan police’s violent response to the attempted incursion, preferring to lay the blame at the door of “the international mafias who organise these violent attacks”. Various videos show the police beating people lying on the ground and throwing stones at others attempting to climb the fence.