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Clarification of the six sahrawi political prisoners

by : Diaspora Saharaui
Saturday March 20, 2010 - 17:59

Essential Clarification

Minister of Communication and the Moroccan government’s spokesman is trying to influence the judiciary on behalf of the executive

PNG - 212.5 kb

Since our arrest on October, Thursday 08th, 2009 at 1:30 afternoon GMT, at Mohammed V airport in Casablanca by the National Group of the Judicial Police and under the presence of all the Moroccan security services, public and secret, as soon as we returned from the Sahrawi refugee camps in Tindouf, south of Algeria, after a two-week visit for humanitarian and purely human rights reasons.

After eight days of interrogation at the headquarters of the group mentioned above in Casablanca, we were referred to the military court in Rabat, in a dangerous precedent, on Thursday, October 15th, 2009, the same day on which that the investigation judge near the same court ordered to put us in preventive detention in the local prison of Salé and to try us for ready charges for which by thousands victims of political persecution had been previously tried in Morocco and Western Sahara such as harming State’s external security ... etc. We have been imprisoned in a quarter of the above-mentioned prison, originally intended for isolation, in solitary confinement where we faced a strictly punitive system, deprived of all rights, for more than four months. To legitimize the arrest and to provide at least prima facie justifications for Moroccan and international public opinion, a rented group of Moroccan political parties, media outlets and human rights associations engaged, a week before our arrest, in a broad campaign in completely racist and chauvinistic and under exciting headings with aggressive contents as "Algeria’s agents and plotting with military and security hostile parties" and other fabricated scenarios such as the alleged suitcase full of foreign currency the police seized, banned publications and other falsehoods.

All of this does not hide the deliberate intention of creating requirements for prior conviction in an obvious attempt to mislead the world through modification of the issue from its objective and legal context originally associated with the exercise of the right of opinion and expression as framed by United Nations Organization and other continental and regional institutions such as the European Union and Parliament, the African Union, governmental agencies. .. as well as international and Moroccan human rights organizations such as Amnesty International, Robert F. Kennedy Memorial, Human Rights Watch, Freedom House, Front Line, World Organization Against Torture, International Observatory for Human Rights Defenders, International Federation for Human Rights, Moroccan Association for Human Rights, Moroccan Organization for Human Rights, the Mediator for Democracy and Human Rights and hundreds of human rights and humanitarian associations and organizations which followed the lead of its predecessors.

Against this approach and while hosting Mr. Khalid Naciri, Minister of Communication and the Moroccan government spokesman, by “Hiwar” talk show on the evening of Tuesday, February 16th, 2010, aired on the Moroccan first channel, and when answering questions from journalists about developments in our case, the minister used a superficial and erroneous speech and employed concepts such as: "seven traitors" ... He added: "... The reason for this group being referred to the military court is due to security and military activity with parties hostile to Morocco, under the umbrella of the so-called human rights ...". As far as we were surprised by this negative and irresponsible attitude, which we consider as an extension of the campaign led by the Moroccan regime by exploiting , as usual, political parties, human rights NGOs legal and media, it is indeed a violation of human rights since it is, from a human rights view, a violation of the right to a fair trial in accordance with Article X of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, in a direct attempt to influence justice and to interference with the investigation progress, which is supposed to remain free from any tutelage or pressure since the case is still before the judiciary alone authorized to settle it.

It may be needless, in this regard, to remind Me Khaled Nassiri of the content set by the Moroccan legislator in Article 159 of the Moroccan Penal Code Procedure about the impact of the presumption of innocence in the Moroccan legislation, specifically regarding pretrial detention as an exceptional measure and the parent is the release of the accused, as well as the known legal basis stating that the accused is innocent until proven guilty.

However, these laws are respected by independent and impartial judiciary and not Moroccan judiciary considered by Moroccan and international human rights organizations in its reports that it is used by the executive power to punish and deter the opponents of the Moroccan regime. We regret that this was said by a man who worked in the field of human rights and one of the founders of the Moroccan Organization for Human Rights, headed it in earlier mandate - by the way it adopted us as prisoners of conscience and human rights defenders - and a former member of the Advisory Council for Human Rights and former President of the Arab Committee for Human Rights and member of the Socialism and Progress Party formerly known as the Moroccan Communist Party before being changed to Liberalization and Socialism Party that was victim of the ban twice and its activists endured fierce repression, which requires at least from member of a progressive party to be consistent with the expressed convictions by respecting individuals classified by the world that they are prisoners of conscience, even if the Minister does not agree with the content of this opinion.

To conclude, we emphasize that all what appeared in the different Moroccan media with regards to our cause has no truth basis and is just pure fabrication. During the investigation by the national group of the judicial police in Casablanca, and in all stages of the investigation, we rejected all the accusations and we maintained that our arrest came on the grounds of our opinions and human rights activism, far away from what some of the Moroccan press circulate.

Local prison of Salé / Morocco.

March 18th, 2010

Signed by Sahrawi Human Rights defenders of / Prisoners of conscience:

Ali Salem Tamek, Brahim Dahane, Ahmed Naciri, Yahdih Etarrouzi, Saleh Lbaihi, Rachid Sghayer



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