Melilla migration drama: the Spanish public prosecutor's office closes its investigation

In Melilla, riot police cordon off the area after the arrival of migrants on Spanish soil, Friday June 24, 2022. AP - Javier Bernardo

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The Spanish prosecution decided this Friday, December 23 to close its investigation into the death of at least 23 African migrants who had tried on June 24 to enter the Spanish enclave of Melilla from Morocco.

The prosecution believes in a press release that it has not identified " 

signs of crime in the actions of the agents

" of the Spanish security forces during this tragedy.

This goes against the conclusions of the NGOs. 


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It is a decision that could have consequences.

As a reminder, on June 24, around 1,700 migrants according to the Spanish authorities, most of them from Sudan,

tried to enter Melilla illegally

by climbing a fence on the border with Morocco.

This fence had collapsed under the weight of this crowd.

In its conclusions made public on Friday, the Spanish public prosecutor's office considers that the agents present on the spot were not aware of the fall of the migrants and of these dramatic consequences, even if a helicopter which was flying over the area was in the process of film the facts.

Excessive use of force for the UN

These conclusions go against those of several NGOs who accuse the Spanish authorities of not having provided assistance to seriously injured migrants.

For the Spanish Defender of Rights, the explanations of the prosecution are not sufficient.

The UN, after this tragedy, had also denounced the excessive use of force by the Spanish and Moroccan authorities, thus joining the

conclusions of Amnesty International 

which had qualified this tragedy as a “ 

mass killing


According to Madrid, none of the victims died on Spanish soil, which is refuted by two independent investigations carried out by



and a consortium of journalists.

This classification of the investigation


brings a breath of fresh air to the Minister of the Interior

 ", called for the resignation by the opposition, but also by formations supporting the government of the socialist Pedro Sanchez, estimates

El Pais

, the country's leading generalist daily.

However, this decision by the prosecution raises questions about its independence.


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