Rights groups call for Melilla border deaths inquiry | DW News

DW News published this video item, entitled “Rights groups call for Melilla border deaths inquiry | DW News” – below is their description.

Human rights groups are calling for an independent inquiry into the deaths of at least 27 migrants on the Spanish-Moroccan border. A preliminiary investigation by Morocco found that most of the victims likely suffocated when up to two thousand people tried to storm the border in Melilla in late June. The tiny Spanish exclaves of Melilla and Ceuta are the European Union’s only land borders with Africa, making them a focus for migrants and refugees.

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In This Story: Ceuta

Ceuta is a Spanish autonomous city on the north coast of Africa. Bordered by Morocco, it lies along the boundary between the Mediterranean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean.

It was part of the province of Cádiz until 14 March 1995. On that date, Statutes of Autonomy were passed for both Ceuta and Melilla.

Ceuta, like Melilla and the Canary Islands, was classified as a free port before Spain joined the European Union. Its population consists of Christians, Muslims, and small minorities of Sephardic Jews and ethnic Sindhis from modern-day Pakistan.

Spanish is the official language. Darija Arabic is also spoken by 40–50% of the population.

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In This Story: Morocco

Morocco, a North African country bordering the Atlantic Ocean and Mediterranean Sea, is distinguished by its Berber, Arabian and European cultural influences. Marrakesh’s medina, a mazelike medieval quarter, offers entertainment in its Djemaa el-Fna square and souks (marketplaces) selling ceramics, jewelry and metal lanterns. The capital Rabat’s Kasbah of the Udayas is a 12th-century royal fort overlooking the water. 

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