Video Women Protest Sexual Assault of Moroccan Farmers in Spain

Rabat- Moroccan and Spanish women rallied on Sunday, June 17, in Spain’s Huelva province in a march of solidarity with Moroccan seasonal workers who have been sexually assaulted.The Andalusian Workers’ Syndicate (SAT) organized Sunday’s march in Huelva to denounce the sexual abuse of Moroccan agricultural workers.The syndicate called on the Spanish government to intervene and restore the rights of these seasonal workers. A video of the demonstration captured women as they held banners saying “Work Without Sexual Slavery” and chanted in protest. Some women also ululated in Moroccan style.After a meeting between 18 representatives of agricultural firms and officials from the General Directorate for Migration in January, Spain agreed to hire 10,400 Moroccan agricultural workers to pick strawberries and other berries for the April to June harvest season.In May, the US-based online media company Buzzfeed recounted the stories of several Moroccan women farmers who complained of sexual assault by their employers.Later, four farmers working in Huelva filed complaints against the same supervisor for alleged sexual assault. Shortly after Spanish authorities arrested and questioned the suspect, he was released on bail. Morocco’s Ministry of Employment carried out an investigation to inquire about the conditions of women farmers on Spanish farms.After a Moroccan-Spanish delegation visited the Spanish farms, the ministry maintained that “no specific case of abuse or violation against Moroccan workers was found.” Several news outlets, including Buzzfeed News, Spain’s El Mundo, and El Pais have reported on the conditions of the Moroccan farmers in Heluva.The news outlets recently reported that a mother, seven months pregnant, who traveled to Spain to earn money for her sick son was sexually assaulted by her supervisor.“I will only return to Morocco when the truth breaks out, I want to go home with my head up,” she told El Pais.The workers were scheduled to return to their home country once the agricultural season ends. With the current controversy, it might take longer for them to go back to their families as they wait for justice to take its course. read more

Police Confiscate 160 Kgs of Cannabis at Tangier Med Port

Rabat – Police have seized 160 kilograms of cannabis in Tangier from a Moroccan drug trafficker attempting to embark to Europe.On Wednesday evening, police and customs officers stopped a Moroccan national at Tangier Med Port who was trying to smuggle cannabis in the form of cannabis resin (chira) to Europe. The drug, which was concealed in a Belgium-registered car, was discovered during a vehicle scan. Police dogs were also involved in the operation. The 39-year-old culprit was arrested and placed in custody for an investigation by Tangier’s judicial police. The investigation will be carried out under the supervision of the competent public prosecutor’s office.Cannabis resin is one of the most exported drugs in Morocco and has continuously been the subject of seizures in past years. The demand for the drug in Europe is very high due to its powerful and high-yield hybrid varieties.In fact, Morocco is the largest supplier of cannabis resin for Europe, according to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC). In 2014, 302 tons and 85 percent of all cannabis resin seizures in Spain were linked to Morocco. Spain has played an important role for Morocco’s drug trafficking, as it is the closest European country and therefore used as gateway to all the others. Other popular points of entry are Portugal, France, and Italy. According to the UNODC World Drug Report of 2017, Morocco has the third highest cannabis resin seizures among countries worldwide. The kingdom comes behind Spain and Pakistan. Other drugs that Spain and Europe have increasingly imported are heroin and cocaine. The latter has also been the subject of numerous seizures lately. A UNODC report from 2011 suggested that the traditional trafficking route from Morocco to Spain, used to import cannabis resin to Europe, has also been used for cocaine. read more