In solidarity with the family of those who have died at the borders of Melilla on 24 June 2022

1 July 2022 :Transnational Migrant Platform – Europe: Massacre of Migrant and Refugee people at Europe-Africa border (Communique working group of the 45th session Permanent Peoples Tribunal)

In solidarity with the family of those who have died at the borders of Melilla on June 24 2022 and with those who organized the actions on July 1 in Rabat and in Melilla

This massacre in Melilla of 29 persons on Friday June 24th is the latest most visible instance of the unacceptability of Europe’s border externalization and militarization policy and its outsourcing of its responsibility in immigration and refugee policy to its neighbouring countries. 

A Relentless spiral of deaths

Over the past several decades, this has led to consequences where we have witnessed a relentless spiral of deaths on the borders of Europe, as legal routes for migrant and refugee people to enter Europe have been closed and militarized.

We add our voices to the growing chorus of protest and condemnation and urge governments, the EU Commission to halt this deadly spiral of militarization, securitization, and closed borders. The conditions leading to this massacre in Melilla have been building up over several months – where for instance mass raids on camps and deliberate denial of medications and other basic needs have generated intolerable conditions.

This massacre urgently demands that the governments of Europe must look beyond borders and recognize that its corporate driven development, trade and investment policy and agreements are a major contributor to the loss of basic livelihoods and forced displacement and out migration in the global south, including in Africa.

The diversion of EU budgets and the profits of corporations

Furthermore, according to a recent report At What Cost? published by the Transnational Institute and Statewatch, the EU 2021-2027 Multi-annual Financial Framework allocates unprecedented amounts of public money to defence and security. The overall amount of money earmarked for security and defence spending is €43.9 billion, an increase of more than 123% when compared to the previous seven-year budgetary cycle, which allocated €19.7 billion for the same purpose. In addition, European states, such as Britain are also increasing their defence and military budgets.

These budgetary allotments foresee a deepening of the securitization and militarization regime, mega profits for the private arms and security corporations and raises profound concerns about the current direction of Europe’s border policies and its policies on the human rights of migrant and refugee people.

A practice of Necropolitics

Over the past decades, and particularly in these years since 2015, distorted the migration and refugee polices of European states, depriving people of rights and leading to the normalization of innumerable human rights violations – from unlawful summary detention, physical brutality and torture, prolonged stay in CAMPs along the borders and in several European countries, and prohibition of rescue at sea.  In the vanguard of this movement towards the repudiation of fundamental right to seek asylum the United Kingdom government is currently attempting to renounce its obligation to even consider applications for refugee made at it border through attempts to enact a so-called resettlement plan in Rwanda. We entirely reject the possibility that this could be generalized as a model of all European states aiming to offshore its responsibilities to provide refugee protection by the automatic deportation of all asylum seekers to third countries.

The other side of this policy has also led to the conditions of sustained exploitation and inhumane working conditions for the thousands of undocumented women and men forced to live and work in inhumane conditions.

Growing global resistance to militarized closed borders

We see this as part of a global trend of repression of the right to life and the right to move. and the normalization of death for migrant and refugee people. Within continents, and at most borders between continents – Latin America and the US, Africa and Europe, Middle East & Asia and Europe, the walls are more strongly militarized including those that stretch from Palestine to Western Sahara to Kashmir and other global regions.

According to Gianni Tognoni, Secretary General of the Permanent Peoples’ Tribunal ” the gravity of what has occurred [in Melilla] declares that the people of migrants – whatever their origin and history of repression – is the most powerful indicator of the failure of will of the EU – denying not only its history, but even more dramatically its future as a democratic society. The concurrent events of these days, also confirm that the struggle to reverse this systematic evolution of Europe towards a truly criminal behavior is every time more urgent.

Migrant and refugee communities and networks, as well as social movements, human rights organisations and engaged civil society have been responding with multiple initiatives – from humanitarian support to campaigning against these brutal and inhumane policies.

Join us on our March to Brussels – Rights! No Deaths! and the Peoples Summit on Migration (September 30-October 2, 2022). For more information, please go to the website here

Together with many other organisations, we respond to:

  • Intensify campaigns to dismantle the deadly border regimes and call for de-militarisation and opening of all borders and the closure of the camps.
  • Seek justice for those who have died, including the prosecution of those who perpetrate these crimes against migrant and refugee people.
  • Intensify our efforts to build a Global Pact of Solidarity based on human rights for all women and men – ending neocolonial and racist development and climate change and strengthening the initiatives for adjust transition.  Sign on here to Global Pact for Solidarity! a call to all people and organizations that confront the Global Pact for Migration (an inter-governmental agreement) adopted in Marrakesh, Morocco on 10 December 2018. We call for your support and join this Alternative Pact of Solidarity and unity whose central axis is the defense of the full rights of migrant and refugee people around the world.

Communique from the Mobilisation working group of the 45th session Permanent Peoples Tribunal on the Violations of the Human Rights of Migrant and Refugee Peoples Violations of Human Rights of Migrant and Refugee Peoples.

(Waling Waling, Ongi Etorri OEE, Stop the Wall Campaign, CFMW, Platform for Filipino Migrant Workers, Verità e Giustizia per i Nuovi Desaparecidos, ECVC, La Via Campesina/International, Sin Fronteras, CRID, FAL, RESPECT Network Europe, London PPT Steering Group, Transnational Migrant Platform-Europe, Transnational Institute)

[Download Communique in PDF]