After the assault on the fence separating Nador from the occupied presidency of Melilla, perpetrated on June 24, by a group of migrants, the National Human Rights Council (CNDH) dispatched an information mission to inquire of the situation on the spot.
The mission has drawn up preliminary conclusions, communicated this Wednesday, July 13 by the President of the Council, Amina Bouayach, during a press conference.
In its conclusions, the mission particularly wished to remove any ambiguity concerning certain information which had the effect of creating profound confusion among national and international public opinion.
The Council refutes in this regard all the allegations related to the use of live ammunition and the insufficiency of medical care, regretting in the sense that these painful and regrettable confrontations were accompanied by the dissemination of fake news, false images and publications lies on social media.
The police used truncheons and tear gas, the report insists on the basis of testimonies collected on the spot.
While emphasizing that this incident “constitutes a precedent in view of the strategy adopted, the scale and the number of migrants involved and the number of victims and injured, etc”, the CNDH recalls that 23 migrants died and 217 people were were injured, including 140 law enforcement officers and 77 migrants.
Security forces used tear gas and other non-lethal weapons to deal with the massive attempts, the mission report notes, noting that the migrants used stones, sticks and sharp tools to take storm the fence separating Nador and Melilla.
According to the conclusions of the mission, the data collected and the testimonies collected on the methods adopted to cross the metal fence made it possible to draw up a general framework loaded with lessons relating to the forms, evolutions and mutations which will inevitably characterize the future attempts carried out by migrants.
Thus, the report maintains, the recorded deaths were caused by mechanical asphyxiation on suffocation caused by the stampede and the agglutination of the large number of victims in a hermetically closed space (mass catastrophe), with movement of the crowd in panic.
Necessary medical care was provided to the injured and surgical interventions were carried out at the Regional Hospital Center of Nador and at the Mohamed VI University Hospital of Oujda, the mission also assures us, which notes, on the contrary “the reluctance of the Spanish authorities to provide the necessary assistance and relief”.
“According to information collected, in particular from non-governmental organizations, the commission invokes the hypothesis of the occurrence of violence behind the fence due to the reluctance or hesitation of the Spanish authorities to provide assistance and necessary assistance, despite the jostling and the hanging of migrants in front of the revolving doors that remained hermetically closed, which had the probable effect of increasing the number of deaths and injuries,” the report notes.
Furthermore, citing testimonies, the Council notes the emergence of a fundamental change marking the attempts to cross from Nador to Melilla, essentially in connection with the form adopted, namely a sudden, well-organized and unusually conducted assault during the day, having targeted the passage and not the chain-link fence and having tried to force the passage instead of climbing the chain-link fence.
And to emphasize that the clashes, which constitute an unprecedented precedent in terms of attempts to cross the fence separating Nador and Melilla, were characterized by acute violence perpetrated simultaneously by a very large number of migrants (estimated at around 2,000 people) armed with sticks, stones and sharp weapons.