Representatives of NGO’s, members of the Observatory to Prevent Violent Extremism (OPEV) were shocked by learning verdicts of guilty and heavy sentences pronounced against 52 among the 53 prisoners of the social movement of Rif in the north of Morocco, prosecuted by the Criminal Chamber of first instance of the Casablanca Court of Appeal.
The sentences reached 20 years of prison for four activists, whose Hirak leader Nacer Zefzafi, 15 years for the three others, 10 years of prison for seven of them, ten others were tried to 5 years of prison, eight of them to 3 years of prison and twenty activists to 2 years of prison.
The trial took place in Casablanca, which is more than 700 km from Alhoceima, where the activists have been arrested and where they live. The trial lasted for several months under conditions that not respect the requirement of the fair trial according to independent representatives who followed the trial and to the 49 detainees who signed on June 12th, a declaration announcing the boycott of the trial by explaining that it was unfair.
In most cases, the detainees have been accused of instigating, or participating, or being complicit in acts of disorder, but without any evidence about their individual criminal liability for violent acts, as unauthorized demonstration not a reason for imprisonment as long as they remain peaceful.
Following the elements, we, NGO’s representatives participating to the Barcelona’s Seminar on the 27th, 28th and 29th of June of 2018, after understanding the facts:
-Declare our indignation in front of this unfair and partial trial suffered by these activists who have peacefully demonstrated for social and economic claims.
-Demand the cancellation of these sentences and the immediate freedom of the detainees.
-Express our support for the detainees and for their families, and call for the initiation of an investigation into the allegations of torture by the detainees during the trial.
-Remind that Rif Hirak movement claims are fundamental human rights that Morocco has pledged to ensure, and we require Moroccan State to respect its commitments on human rights and freedoms.
-Call to all the Civil Society Organizations (CSO) acting for human rights in the Euro-Mediterranean region and throughout the region, to express their solidarity with Hirak activists in Morocco who have been arbitrarily arrested and to require their release.
1- UN PONTE PER / Italie
2- Iraqi Civil Network for Solidarity/ Irak
3- Network “Alghad” for dialogue and development/Jordan
4- Renaissance Network for Democracy and Development/ Jordan
5- Mashrek-Maghreb Center for Sustainable Development/ Jordan
6- Jordanian National JNCW Commission for Women
7- Association Free Sight / Tunisia
8- Ligue Tunisienne pour la defense des droits humains
9- NOVACT/ Espagne – Catalogne
10- Center for Euro-Arab Researchers and Professionals /Espagne – Catalogne
11- Institute of Human Rights of Catalonia
12- Coordination Maghrebine des Organisations des droits humains
13- SOS-Racisme / Espagne
14- Association SAFI /Espagne – Catalogne
15- FundiPau / Espagne- Catalogne