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Moroccan court jails 14 migrants for 8 months over crossing

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A Moroccan court imposed 8-month prison sentences Thursday on 14 migrants for attempting, along with hundreds of others, to scale a border fence separating the north African country from the autonomous Spanish enclave of Melilla in June.

Nador’s Court of First Instance also ordered the defendants to pay 2,000-dirham ($194) fines each over the events of June 24.

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The Moroccan Association for Human Rights, known as AMDH, said at least 27 migrants trying to enter Spain died that day, and numerous others — both migrants and police — were hurt.

The AMDH condemned the decision which is described as “very harsh against people who only seek refuge.”

The same court sentenced 33 migrants to 11 months in prison last month after they tried to climb the border wall between Morocco and Melilla, also on June 24.

The trial of 28 additional immigrants from Sudan, Chad, Yemen, and South Sudan who were detained after the scaling attempt was postponed by the Nador Court of Appeal to August 17, due to the absence of witnesses.

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