Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Moroccan News Briefs

H.M. King Mohammed VI pardons 312 prisoners

H.M. King Mohammed VI has pardoned 312 people on the occasion of Eid al-Fitr, celebrated on September 21 in Morocco, said the Justice Ministry.

Royal pardon is customary in Morocco to mark national and religious holidays.

Four inmates benefited from the pardon over their remaining prison term, while 82 others had their prison term reduced. 112 were granted pardon over their prison sentences, the ministry said in a statement.

Six prisoners had their imprisonment terms and fines annulled, and 108 others had their fines suspended.

Magnitude 3.5 earth tremor hits eastern Morocco

A magnitude 3.5 earthquake was felt Sunday at the eastern province of Berkane, the Moroccan Geophysics Institute said. The epicenter of the quake was located in the commune of Boughriba Aklim.

Tanger-Med Port Authority turns over $21.4 million in 2008

The Tanger-Med Port Authority (TMPA) hit a turnover of 166 million dirhams (21.4 million dollars) in 2008, the first year of its full commercial exploitation.

The figure, which witnessed a monthly rise of 19% throughout the last year, was achieved due to the container activity, which accounts for ¾ of the Port incomes, the TMPA's annual report said. The container terminals TC1 and TC2 chipped in 130 million dirhams, that is 78% of the turnover.

The TMPA, a subsidiary of the Tanger-Med Special Agency (TMSA), is in charge of running and developing port infrastructures.

Spain and Morocco abandon search for illegal migrant survivors

Spanish rescuers spent Sunday night in Morocco looking for African migrants who are presumed missing and possibly dead after their boat capsized on its way to Spain. As of now eight people have already been found dead in the ocean.

There were 42 potentially illegal immigrants onboard the inflatable dinghy that collapsed sometime in the early dawn hours of Saturday near the coastal city of Perejeil. The Spanish Red Cross fears that there may have been up to 60 migrants on the boat.

11 survivors have been found as of Sunday night who will face charges in Tangiers. Seven are recovered and four are still in the hospital.Sunday night the search for survivors was cancelled when it was deemed unlikely any more would be found.

Instant expullsion

Eleven African migrants rescued from a shipwreck were expelled from Morocco soon after being plucked from the sea, a security official said Monday.

"By order of the prosecutor, the 11 African escapees left Tangiers at about 2100 GMT (on Sunday) during an expulsion operation," the official told AFP, without saying where the people were sent. Usually, sub-Saharan migrants seeking to reach Europe via Morocco are taken to the Algerian border and then expelled, because Algeria is the country they cross to enter Morocco.

The 11 expelled were from Niger and Senegal.

They were among at least 42 would-be illegal immigrants crammed aboard an inflatable dinghy that sank before dawn on Saturday off Perejil, a rocky Spanish-owned islet in the Mediterranean Sea off the Moroccan coast, according to a source close to the Moroccan rescue service.

The Spanish Red Cross however estimated there were 60 migrants on the boat, which was headed for Spain.

Spanish and Moroccan rescue teams on Saturday recovered the bodies of eight of them, including that of a pregnant woman, Moroccan security sources said.

Seven of the 11 survivors appeared before prosecutors in Tangiers on Sunday, while the four others, who were found in poor condition, received treatment in hospital.

All 11 were subsequently expelled, the security official said Monday, adding that eight other clandestine migrants who had been turned over to Morocco by Spain were expelled at the same time.

No comments: