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Morocco: Hirak Rif detainees go on hunger strike

A group of people hold banners during a demonstration against the prison sentence for Rif Movement leader Nasser Zefzafi and members along with him, in front of the parliament building in Rabat, Morocco on 27 June 2018 [Jalal Morchidi/Anadolu Agency]
A group of people hold banners during a demonstration against the prison sentence for Rif Movement leader Nasser Zefzafi and members along with him, in front of the parliament building in Rabat, Morocco on 27 June 2018 [Jalal Morchidi/Anadolu Agency]

Members of the families of the Hirak Al-Rif detainees Oukacha Prison, in Casablanca, announced the activists’ going on hunger strike since last Friday.

Moroccan newspaper Lakome quoted Khaled Jalloul, a brother of one of the detainees as confirming that: “All the detainees went on a hunger strike four days ago.”

He added: “The detainee Rabie Al-Ablaq has been on a hunger strike since 35 days, which led to deterioration in his health due his decision to stop eating.”

Last Tuesday, The Court of Appeal in Casablanca issued harsh sentences against 53 detainees against the backdrop of popular protests in the city of Al Hoceima and its neighbouring areas.

Read: Moroccan coalition parties hold emergency meeting

According to sources from the Detainees Defence Body on the backdrop of Hirak Rif, 4 detainees decided not to appear before the court to appeal the sentences against them. They are Nasser Al-Zafzafi, Nabil Ahmajiq, Samir Aghid and Wassim Al-Bustati.

According to Monday’s edition of the Moroccan newspaper Alyaoum24, the four detainees told their Defence Body that they still do not want to appeal the sentence, which is 20 years for each of them.

The newspaper said that the Defence team is trying to convince the four detainees that their sentences should be appealed and give the appellate judges the opportunity to correct the errors of the initial sentence, before the expiration of the legal deadline in 10 days.

The detainees’ Defence is expected to visit the local prison of Aïn Sebaâ (Oukacha) on Monday and Tuesday to persuade the detainees to appeal their sentences.

Morocco: General resentment over judicial decisions against ‘Hirak Rif’ activists

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