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Roundups and arbitrary detention in Morocco – february 2015

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Map posted the 2015/03/20



  • Roundups and arbitrary detention in Morocco - february 2015 Roundups and arbitrary detention in Morocco - february 2015


On February 10, 2015, a massive roundup took place in Morocco, a few hours after the official closing speech of the exceptional program of regularization of migrants in a irregular situation. More than 1,200 people were arrested in Gourougou mountains near the enclave of Melilla.

They were displaced and identified (photographs and footprints were taken) near Nador and dispatched in 24 buses that headed to various cities in the south of the kingdom.

Outside any legal framework, without following any legal procedure, they were put in different places (schools, social or sports facilities…) and deprived of their freedom.

This map shows the locations that could have been identified by activists through a field survey and information provided by migrants from their place of detention, away from the roundups area.

What was the objective of the Moroccan government? Officially, it was to free these migrants from smugglers and human trafficking networks, and then to locally integrate them.

While it is clear that one cannot be released and at the same time deprived of freedom somewhere further off, what were then the unofficial goals? Beyond “Clean the northern border,” was it an attempt to massively deport the migrants?

In any case, the authorities did conduct what should be qualified as arbitrary detention.

In most of the identified sites, people were “released” after roughly three weeks of confinement.

However, no one has heard about the fate of the people who were detained in unidentified places.


Date(s) of publication: 17/12/2015
Author(s): Olivier Clochard et Elsa Tyszler
Credits: GADEM et al :