Thirteen African migrants were sentenced on Wednesday by the courts to two and a half years in prison following the attempt to force entry of nearly 2,000 of them at the end of June into the occupied presidency of Melilla, according to their lawyer.
The 13 convicts appeared before the criminal trial chamber of the Nador court. They intend to appeal.
On June 24, nearly 2,000 illegal immigrants, mostly from Sudan – a very poor country plagued by conflict and ruled by a military regime – tried to force their way into Melilla.
The tragedy killed 23 migrants, according to the Moroccan authorities and 27 according to the Moroccan Association for Human Rights (AMDH).
On August 4, 14 irregular migrants were already sentenced by the same Nador court to eight months in prison for “belonging to an illegal immigration criminal gang” in Morocco.
They were arrested on June 23 during an operation by the Moroccan authorities in the wooded massif of Gourougou, near the border with Melilla.
33 other migrants of sub-Saharan origin were sentenced on July 19 to 11 months in prison for “illegal entry” in Morocco.