Just a day after Spain began deporting illegal immigrants to Morocco, humanitarian groups say they have evidence of barbaric treatment of refugees by the north African state. Medecins sans Frontieres says it has spoken to a group of 500 non-Moroccan migrants who say they were dumped deep in the desert by Moroccan authorities. They had been expelled from Spanish outposts in north Africa.
Some immigrants ended up at a refugee camp on the Algerian border where one told journalists he had travelled 750 kilometres in six days without food or water. Fleeing famine of war or simply in search of a better life, the immigrants head for the north African coast en route for Europe. The Spanish enclaves of Ceuta and Melilla act as magnets.
At the refugee camp, doctors tend wounds. The MSF says some have been caused by police rubber bullets. It accuses Spain of violating the UN Convention against Torture by deporting immigrants to a country that does not have the capacity to receive them.
Rabat has denied any mistreatment. The European Commission has sent a delegation to Ceuta and Melilla to assess the situation there.