Morocco protests against Spanish border police 'violence'
Morocco accused Spanish police on Friday of badly injuring five of its citizens trying to enter Spain's North African enclave of Melilla merely for carrying a Moroccan flag.
"Morocco strongly protests against acts of mistreatment and physical violence committed today (Friday) by Spanish police against five young Moroccans," the foreign ministry said in a statement.
The ministry said the five, who reside in Belgium, had to be rushed to hospital after being hit and injured trying pass into the "occupied city of Melilla" which is surrounded by Morocco.
"Such gravely excessive acts against all rules and ethics took place when the Spanish police observed that the Moroccan citizens had the Moroccan national flag in their car," the ministry said.
"His Majesty the King's government energetically protests against such unacceptable conduct that can in now way be justified as Moroccan citizens have the absolute right to carry flag with them," it added.
Spain reaffirmed in May its sovereignty over the North African enclaves of Melilla and Ceuta, long considered by Rabat as occupied cities.
© 2010 AFP