One Year after the Melilla Massacre of 24 June 2023: We are still Shocked and Angry

As Alarm Phone, we witness the daily murders that are perpetrated by European authorities, in collaboration with their African counterparts. Every morning, afternoon, evening and night, we are on the phone with people in serious distress in the Mediterranean and on the Atlantic. We witness the silent, invisible deaths, the boats we will never hear from again and the bodies carried away by the waves.

We are shocked, angry and feel powerless in the face of this daily violence imposed by the European Union.

A year ago, Spanish and Moroccan police killed at least 37 people. 77 others are still missing. The Melilla massacre once again brutally demonstrates that all these deaths are no coincidence. They are not accidents. They are the result not only of negligence, but rather of a choice: the choice to sacrifice human lives in order to implement racist and xenophobic policies at all costs. The murders of people abandoned at sea and the massacres carried out at land borders, the unabashed violence, are part of this same logic.

“We may not be given explanations, but we will always demand justice. This is the result of an dangerous policy on the part of the European Union, namely hindering the movement of people although they have the right to the freedom of movement. The massacres keep happening at the borders, there is no consolation for the victims: instead, they are forgotten,“ explains Ibrahim from Alarm Phone Tangier.

Today, like every other day, our thoughts and hearts go out to the survivors of this terrible massacre, to the dead, their families and their friends. The daily suffering of loved ones, who do not know whether their sons and daughters or their friends are alive or dead, is never acknowledged. We wish to express our full support when they search for their missing loved ones.

As Alarm Phone, we honour and support people who take action every day to assert their freedom of movement and that of those around them.

L., a survivor of the Melilla massacre, states:

“It was really horrible that day when R. and I decided to follow the large group to go and jump the border fences at Melilla. The auxiliary forces beat me until I saw death knocking on my door. R., my only friend, did not survive and died before my very eyes. R., may your soul rest in peace, a soldier does not die. It’s a policy that kills either slowly (through illness, poor nutrition, mental depression, stress, etc.) or brutally (being beaten up by the police or by the population, etc.). This policy can only change if the European Union and the Moroccan authorities decide to put an end to it by respecting and applying human rights thoroughly.“

Every year, media attention focuses on one massacre or two shipwrecks. But the brutality of states in the North that cooperate with those in the South is constant and daily. Every life counts!

We demand from the European and Spanish authorities :

  • truth, justice and reparations for the victims of the Melilla massacre, the Tarajal massacre of 06 February 2014, and for all the countless shipwrecks and people killed and disappeared on migration routes.
  • procedures that make it possible to identify the bodies and what happened to them (autopsies, DNA records, taking witness statement into accounts, videos, etc.).

We will not cease to call for and support actions that fight for freedom of movement for every human being in the world. Freedom of movement that can only exist in a world free of racism and discrimination. For freedom of movement for everyone.