Moroccan Authorities Detain Sub-Saharan Migrants To Test Them For COVID-19

Moroccan authorities are detaining and testing sub-Saharan migrants. CREDIT: Twitter

Migrants from the capital of Western Sahara, Laayoune, Morocco, claim they are being arrested in the streets and subject to house raids as well as being locked up in detention centres by Moroccan authorities, while xenophobic and racist discourse spreads throughout the local population.

The migrants are being indiscriminately held in terrible conditions within detention centres to test them for COVID-19. The sub-Saharan migrants tell of being given no water to wash with and only a loaf of bread to eat in the day.

It seems the officers don’t actually know if the people they are arresting have come into contact with a positive case of the virus or if they have any symptoms, but they are continuing to target sub-Saharan migrants following the detection of 25 infections among the 68 occupants of two boats that left Laayoune for Fuerteventura last week. Despite the fact that in recent days 168 cases of COVID-19 were detected, only 24 are of sub-Saharan origin.

Omar Naji, president of the Moroccan Association for Human Rights (AMDH) in Nador is concerned over the illegal confinement and difficult conditions of sub-Saharan migrants and warns that the same procedure is being extended to other places in the country, such as Rabat where house raids have also begun.

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Eleisha Kennedy

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