Freedom for the Coordinator of the CMSM (Council of Sub-Saharan Migrants in Morocco) and an end to the repression of members of migrants’ associations in Morocco

Camara Laye, former president and current coordinator of the CMSM was arrested in his house at midnight, between Saturday, October 20 and Sunday, October 21 and taken to the jail of Rabat’s third District police precinct. His lawyer has been denied the right to speak to him, in this manner violating the penal code procedure; and this has occurred despite the fact that authorization for his lawyer had been obtained the magistrates of the Tribunal of First Instance of the Fiscal Ministry. Camara resides in Morocco as a legally documented person. We are concerned and fear that this arrest has as its objective impeding his work to defend migrant rights in Morocco, using as a pretext a matter of fictitious common law as has happened in the past with numerous human rights and opposition activists.

This arrest is the continuation of a series of alarming incidents:

  • Direct threats made against the future Secretary General of the ODT- Travailleurs Immigrés [note: the immigrant section of a labour union] on June 10.
  • Two “robberies” in 15 days (including his computer) in the apartment of a militant form the CCSM (Collective of Sub-Saharan Communities in Morocco)
  • Violent action by the police, accompanied by thugs, this past Wednesday, October 17 at mid-day, in a house-refuge whose occupants were primarily members of ALECMA. This occurred in the Al-Farah area of Rabat near Taqadoum. The results of the operation: 2 wounded, 3 interrogations, the seizure of personal effects (passports, money, computers, cameras, and even clothing and blankets) as well as threats upon leaving (such as “see you tomorrow”).
  • The arrest of the Secretary General of ALECMA, this past Saturday the 20th of October in the morning at his home. He was arrested and placed in the jails of the Third District’s police precinct, and freed on Sunday

These actions are occurring in a context of growing repression against migrants over the past year (harassment, raids, deportations accompanied by demands of payment, extortions both in large cities as well as in the outskirt of the occupied former presidios [note: this refers to Ceuta and Melilla]) legitimated by a stigmatizing discourse used by politicians (especially the USFP deputy Abdelhadi Khairate, and the PPS minister of Employment and Professional Education, Abdelouahed Souhail) as well as part of the press (Assabah, Almassae, ...).

But also in a context marked by the mobilization, organization and increasing visibility of migrants: CMSM, CCSM, ODT-TI, ALECMA. For example:

  • Participation in the May 1st march followed by the creation of the first union of migrant workers within a Moroccan union confederation (ODT- Travailleurs Immigrés)
  • Organization of a march in Taqadoum in front of the police station followed by protests in front of relevant embassies to denounce the development of racist attacks, the impunity of the culprits demonstrated by the lack of any investigation in =to the incidents, and to petition the diplomatic corps to assume their responsibility in the protection of the emigrant population from their corresponding countries, and finally the creation of the ALECMA association in Taqadoum
  • Numerous actions by the CMSM and the CCSM, especially the emission and drafting of joint reports between CMSM-GADEM
  • Active and numerous participation of migrants and their organizations in the Forum on Migrations organized in Oujda by the Maghreb Social Forum, October 6-7, 2012

Taking into account these elements, it seems evident that the arrest of Camara Laye, forms part of a continuous process of intimidation and repression against active migrants in Morocco, as has been occurring over the past months.

We ask for the definitive end of this repression and the immediate release of Camara Laye.


+212 (0)537 72 78 78 or +212 (0)6 52 45 22 07


Morocco : Groupe antiraciste d’accompagnement et de défense des étrangers et migrants (GADEM), Conseil des migrants subsahariens au Maroc (CMSM), Collectif des communautés subsahariennes au Maroc (CCSM), Association de lutte contre l’émigration clandestine au Maroc (ALECMA), Association marocaine des droits de l’homme (AMDH), Association Beni Znassen pour la Culture, le Développement et la Solidarité (ABCDS), Forum Asile Migration, Forum des Alternatives Maroc (FMAS), Observatoire marocain des libertés publiques, Action Jeunesse, Organisation démocratique du travail – Maroc (ODT), Organisation démocratique des travailleurs immigrés – Maroc (ODT-I), Institut de formation des agents de développement (IFAD), Fonds d’appui à la dynamisation des organisations communautaires de base (FADOC), Association Rencontre Méditerranéenne Pour l’Immigration et le Développement (ARMID), Femmes pour l’égalité et la démocratie Maroc, Réseau Amazighe pour la Citoyenneté – Azetta, Réseau marocain pour la défense du droit à la santé = droit à la vie, Observatoire national des droits au travail, Pateras de la vida, ATTAC Maroc, Réseau des Associations du Nord du Maroc pour le Développement et la Solidarité (Chabaka), Association Al Khaïma

International networks: Réseau euro-méditerranéen des droits de l’homme (REMDH), Migreurop, Afrique-Europe-Interact

Other countries: Groupe de recherche et d’actions sur les migrations en Afrique Centrale (GRAMI AC) - Cameroun, Conseil des migrants de France, Ligue algérienne pour la défense des droits de l’homme (LADDH), Association des Réfugiés Sans Frontières – Cameroun (ARSF), Association des refoulés d’Afrique centrale au Mali (ARACEM), Fluechtlingsrat Hamburg (Conseil de Réfugiés de Hambourg), Association "Movimento dei Senza Voce" (Suisse), Fondation Conseil Jeune, membre du GRAMI AC (Cameroun), Ligue des droits de l’homme Belgique, Fédération des Tunisiens citoyens des deux rives - France (FTCR), Comité pour le respect des libertés en Tunisie (CRLDHT), CNCD-11.11.11 – Belgique, SOS Migrants – Belgique, Na’oura Groupe Solidarité Belgique Maroc – GSBM, La Cimade – France, Fédération des associations de solidarité avec les travailleurs immigrés – France (FASTI), Stiftung :do, Hamburg (Allemagne), Association des travailleurs maghrébins en France (ATMF), Initiative démocratie développement – France (IDD), Rete Primo Marzo - Italie, Associazione Giù le frontiere – Italie, Association mauritanienne des droits de l’homme (AMDH), Association de défense des droits de l’homme au Maroc (ASDHOM) – France, Associazione di promozione sociale ARCI – Italie, comité local du Sénégal de la Charte Mondiale des Migrants, Syndicat national autonome des personnels de l’administration publique (SNAPAP) – Algérie, Confédération Générale des Travailleurs de Mauritanie (CGTM), Les Alternatifs solidarités écologie féminisme autogestion - France, Cooperazione Internazionale Sud Sud (CISS) – Italie, Centre d’étude et de recherche sur la migration de l’Afrique subsaharienne (CERMAS) – Pays-Bas, Association des Marocains en France (AMF), Groupe d’information et de soutien des immigrés (GISTI) – France, borderline-europe e.V. (Allemagne), Yambi Africa asbl, Belgique, Asociacion pro derechos humanos de Andalucia (APDHA), Confédération général du Travail – Andalousie (CGT-A)...