Hundreds storm gate to Morocco-Spain border at Ceuta exclave
- The autonomous Spanish enclave of Ceuta, one of only two land borders between Africa and Europe, saw some 850 sub-Saharan migrants and asylum-seekers scaling barbed wire fences along the five-mile border between Morocco and Spain to reach the immigration center inside.
- The city, located on the northwest coast of Morocco, has long been the site of attempts to cross into Europe, although strong security forces have kept most attempts at bay.
- The event follows a similar—though unsuccessful—one from New Year’s Day, when more than 1,000 attempted to breach the gate.
“Los saltos en la valla de Ceuta se duplican tras la amenaza de Marruecos” (El País | February 2017)
“Morocco uses migrant crisis as leverage in EU free trade dispute” (France24 | February 2017)
“Risking Injury and Arrest, African Migrants Storm a Gate to Europe” (The New York Times | February 2017)
(Image Credit: Jesus Moron/Associated Press, via The New York Times)
Black in North Africa
Like the color it purports to name, the social label black absorbs, integrates, and obscures distinct but interrelated phenomena: a skin tone of context-dependent shade, a racial classification from bygone times, an ethnic designation, a class marker, an immigration status, an ancestry, a cultural heritage, and an index of historical wrongs still fresh in memory. Black has often served as shorthand for of African descent, but perhaps nowhere most complicates that substitution than a region on the continent itself: North Africa. Continue reading Citations: Black in North Africa
Moroccan professor faces charges for government criticism as hunger strike ends
- Maati Monjib, a writer and professor of political history and African studies, is charged with receiving foreign funds with the intent of undermining Moroccan institutions and national security.
- Monjib ended his hunger strike after the government lifted the travel ban placed on him, though he has indicated that he will resume should government harassment continue.
- Monjib faces up to five years in prison for his work with the Ibn Rochd (Averroes) Institute and the Moroccan Association of Investigative Journalism (AMJI), which received funding from Netherlands-based human rights organizations.
“Moroccan intellectual suspends hunger strike, faces charges: lawyer” (Reuters)
“Maroc : l’historien et militant Maâti Monjib cesse sa grève de la faim” (Jeune Afrique, AFP)
“Maroc: Maati Monjib dénonce le harcèlement des autorités” (RFI)
(Image Credit: Stringer/Reuters)
Moroccan women cleared of indecency charges
- The two Moroccan women had faced charges of public obscenity for wearing too tight of skirts, which carries a penalty of up to two years in prison.
- The women’s defense attorney indicated that the women will be pursuing legal action against the merchants who harassed them over their dress in the market where the conflict occurred.
- More than 27,000 had signed a petition of support for the women, and solidarity protests were held in Agadir and Casablanca.
“This is a victory not only for these two women, but for all members of civil society who mobilised.”
Read the full story at the Guardian.
Two women charged with indecent dress head to trial in Morocco
- The women were arrested in Agadir in mid-June after passersby reported them for wearing too tight of dresses.
- One women’s organization leader reported that 500 lawyers signed up to represent the women, but only 200 could fit into the courtroom
- With “public indecency” and “gross indecency” offenders subject to up to two years of jail time, protests in solidarity with the women are set to take place in Agadir and Casablanca later in the week.
“The only sensible thing here would be for the case to be dropped and police officers in Morocco instructed not to make arrests in cases like these in the future. Meanwhile, the authorities need to set about amending a whole range of highly discriminatory laws including on rape, abortion, divorce and child custody.”
Read the full story at the Guardian.
(Image Credit: Abdelhak Senna/EPA, via The Guardian)
Twenty arrested in Morocco, accused of homosexuality, and two more sentenced to four months in prison
- According to the Aswat Collective, an LGBT rights group, the twenty–mostly gay men and transwomen–were arrested in the resort town of Agadir and will be charged with “incitement to corruption.”
- Despite its relatively progressive stance on homosexuality compared to its other Middle East and North African neighbors, Morocco has been cracking down on the LGBT community in recent months.
- The arrests occur as two men have been sentenced to four months in prison for having engaged in public displays of affection in Rabat, the Moroccan capital. (via Le Figaro)
“The Moroccan authorities reaffirm their position through this campaign of oppression and arrests targeting homosexuals, while the country is having an intense debate relative to the decriminalization of homosexuality.”
More on this story at NewNowNext.
(Image Credit: via NewNowNext)
The Moroccan government publishes first data on its sex-worker population despite social conservatives who have long prohibited such official recognition. More from Al Jazeera.