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Lahsan Aacuk: Behind Bars for Helping Brothers Behind Bars

Lahsan AacukThe 28 year old Dutch citizen, Lahsan Aacuk, faces two or more years in a Moroccan prison while he awaits sentencing to take place on August 1st.

Currently hunger-striking since May in protest against inhumane treatment along with 24 other detainees, Lahsan is accused of recruiting fighters for the jihad in Syria.

His Moroccan compatriots have been convicted of similar Syria-related charges as some have recently returned from the war-torn country while others have been deported back to Morocco by Spain or Turkey and are now facing extensive sentences.

On Tuesday, April 16 Lahsan Aacuk was abducted in broad daylight by Moroccan intelligence services [DST] while visiting his sick mother in the At Tawaabil district of Tetouane in northern Morocco.

“I opened the door, and they jumped on me, men in civilian clothes. I was blindfolded, pushed into a van and taken to a police station in Casablanca for questioning. ‘We know many of you,’ they said. ‘We work with the AIVD.’ If I did not talk, they would abduct my brother. And they would claim that I am from Al Qaeda. I would be charged with the attacks in Boston and also prosecuted for recruiting fighters for the conflict Mali.”

It was later discovered that he was being held and further interrogated in the notorious Salé 2 prison.

I’m blindfolded, tied to a chair, kicked and beaten with sticks,” said Aacuk in a telephone interview with the Volkskrant in June. “They want to link me to Al-Qaeda.

He was later arraigned on vague charges of terrorism and it is expected to be found guilty of such charges.

Like many of the 4 million Moroccans that live abroad, Lahsan holds dual citizenship from both his native country and from the country he resides in, the Netherlands.

For nearly two months after his disappearance Moroccan authorities rejected claims of holding any Dutchman in custody and denied Dutch consular visits for the tortured man. It was not until June that prison authorities were finally presented with Lahsan’s papers indicating his Dutch citizenship.

Lahsan was not only disturbed by the interrogation methods, but also by the proximal presence of Dutch intelligence.

“Among the papers of the [Moroccan] interrogators was a Dutch paper with the logo of the AIVD. I also got a lot of questions about my Dutch friends and Dutch Syria-goers. It is strange that so many Moroccans want to know about the Netherlands. “

Although the GSIS refused to comment on its role in the recent interrogations, the AIVD states in it annual report that “cooperation between national and international organizations is necessary for the protection of Dutch interests.”

Last month Lahsan’s lawyer, Michiel Pestman, filed a complaint with the Interior Minister Ronald Plasterk claiming AIVD ‘wrongdoing’ against Lahsan.

The question of AIVD involvement is further complicated by its accusations that a grassroots Dutch-Moroccan prisoner rights organisation by the name of Behind Bars, may be involved with recruiting foreign fighters to Syria, the same organisation that Lahsan has been active in while living in Amsterdam.

Dutch intelligence and its alleged cooperation in the questioning of Moroccan prisoners is centered on a controversial theory of socialisation. “These [advocacy] movements have created an environment where like-minded people meet and where radical ideas have been able to develop into jihadist ideas. Group dynamics has led to rapid radicalization of many individuals,” claims a recent AIVD report.

The theory explains why an organisation like Behind Bars can be deemed guilty of conspiracy by merely providing a space to marginalised minorities to discuss politically adverse ideology.

The allegations come after a series of successful and high profile campaigns by Dutch-Moroccans demanding the end of human rights abuses and arbitrary detention in their home country. Past campaigns have highlighted graphic and grotesque interrogation methods leaked to global media by prisoner testimonies, much to the chagrin of Moroccan authorities.

Paolo de Mas, an expert on Moroccan affairs, explains that Moroccan intelligence has been closely surveilling the Moroccan diaspora for their participation in demonstrations critical of Moroccan domestic policies and is actively asserting its intelligence muscle as it it feels threatened by dissidents living abroad.

According to Human Rights Watch, the Moroccan government has conducted mass arrests on the populations activists and salafists since the first Casablanca bombings in 2003. Mere suspicion of connections to terrorism or subversive activities are enough to warrant indefinite detention and torture. HRW claims that majority of such detainees are convicted and sentenced after unfair trials.

 
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Posted by on July 27, 2013 in News Items

 

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Heart Breaking! The Case of Shaykh Abu Mouadh Nourdine Nafi’a and his wife.

The Case of Shaykh Abu Mouadh Nourdine Nafi’a and his wife.

The joint committee received this letter from Shaykh Abu Mouadh Nourdine Nafi’a. He wrote it while he was being held in Kenitra central prison, in which he was subjected to barbaric torture after he was arbitrarily transferred on the 9th of October 2010. He was on hunger strike since the 6th of December 2010 while he was there until he was between life and death. He wrote this letter then speaking about the kidnapping he and his wife have been through and detention and torture in Temera secret detention centre and other secret centers.

He is now is solitary confinement, cut off the world around him in Toulal 2 prison, Meknes. He is one of those accused of being behind the Sala prison clashes (16-17/May/2011) or what is known by “Salé Zaki prison riot”

All praise is due to Allah and peace and blessings be upon his messenger, his family, his companions and those who adhere to him.

To proceed:

I am shaykh Abu Mouadh Nourdine Nafi’a, who is currently held in Kenitra central prison. Prisoner number: 26512, I am the one signed below, Nourdine Nafi’a who is sentenced to 20 years based on fabricated evidence under the guise of “combating terror”. I reiterate that I am innocent of all charges against me. I am a victim of American policies in the region. To clarify this I will outline what I and my wife have been through of suffering and violations in the dungeons of the secret services.

I am a Moroccan citizen, a member of the Islamic movement since the 80s. A Muslim, Sunni, following the Quran and the noble traditions of the prophet, according to the understanding of our pious predecessors such as Imam Malik, Shafi’i, Ahmed, Abu Hanifa may Allah have mercy upon them. I migrated from my homeland in 1988 to Afghanistan for the intention of joining the “Jihad”. It was not possible to go to Palestine, between me and it were thousands of barriers because of the “Arab cordon states”. My first stop was Europe and after repeated attempts I managed to travel to Pakistan in 1991, then to Afghanistan after the fall of the communist government. I made that country my homeland. In 1998 I left Afghanistan for Syria, Damascus, where I married the sister of Yassine al-Shaqori who is held is Guantanamo may Allah hasten his release. I began to trade to support my family, travelling between Syria and Turkey for trade. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on January 28, 2012 in News Items

 

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Report on Protest for Prisoner Rights 23 October & Conditions in Morocco

The Joint Committee of former “Islamist Detainees” in co-ordination with “Al-Haqiqa: for Defending Prisoners of Conscience and Belief” announces that the protest planned for October 23rd had been subjected to barbaric methods of suppression and intimidation by the Moroccan Government. This protest was organised under the banner of ‘Together for the Sake of Ending Oppression and Ending the Sexual Abuse Taking Place in Moroccan Prisons.’

During the repression by the Moroccan authorities, protesters were subjected to severe brutality to the extent that severe injuries were reported including broken bones and the victimisation of children. The slew of injuries occurred when protesters were stamped on, hit by sticks, chased along the streets, arrested and detained for long hours. Human rights activist, Mohammed Haqiqi, director of Al Karama, was also targeted in a savage assault by the security forces as they stamped on him, tore off his clothes and arrested him as well.

We would like to say that in the case of the Islamist detainees, they have endured horrendous forms of abuse and are still undergoing this inhumane treatment.  The abuse varies from kidnapping, torture (physical and mental), electrocution, rape and other forms of sexual abuse, stress positions, and mock trials.  This category of prisoners is not given even their basic legal rights and forced to take part in biased and unfair trials with no access to legal representation.  Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on October 30, 2011 in News Items

 

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Al-Asra al-Maghribah: Some of Their Cases & Conditions

The Case of Shaykh Hassan al-Kattani:

Shaykh Hassan Al-Kattani

The government ignored the rich history of the the al-Kattani family in spreading Islamic knowledge and the role they played for Moroccan independence in fighting the colonial forces until the liberation of the country. They overlooked the case of the defense that the Kattani household had produced scholars that have honored Morocco around the world. It seemed to the family as if their reward was to have one of their sons sentenced to 20 years imprisonment, in a case he has no connection with.

Shaykh Hassan al-Kattani suffered four months of pretrial detention in Sala prison, from where he was kidnapped and taken to an unknown location and subsequently abused. There he was put in solitary confinement and stripped of all his clothes except what covers the private parts. He was not Allowed to have a Quran nor speak to others. Even reciting prayers aloud was not allowed. From the secret prison he was then transferred to ‘Ain al-Birja prison in Casablanca where he was locked up in a filthy toilet.

As for the trial itself, then it was the quickest ever in history. Despite his refutation of all the charges against him and argumentation with the judge, who could not prove any crime against him, al-Kattani was unjustly sentenced to 20 years imprisonment. To note he was not charged based on evidence by the police or any investigation of any crime but instead based upon alleged confessions by a group of brothers that stated they attended lessons by him on: “The Principles of Salafi Jihadism”!  Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on October 20, 2011 in News Items

 

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Action Alert: Victim of Five Years US Abduction & Torture Needs Donations

Suleiman Abdallah Salim is a Tanzanian national who was abducted in Somalia in April 2003 by a notorious Somali warlord known as Mohammed Deere, well-known for being in the pay of the CIA. During his capture at the hands of Deere’s henchmen, Suleiman was so badly injured that he had to be taken to hospital.  However, after less than 24 hours he was dragged from his hospital bed by Deere, and delivered to some Americans who were waiting at an airstrip just outside Mogadishu.

After a short time in Somalia, Suleiman was taken to Nairobi, where he was held near the airport for eight days, and interrogated by members of the CIA and FBI.  It appears that initially Suleiman’s interrogators thought that he was someone else – a Yemeni – but even so, they did not release him. After eight days in Nairobi, Suleiman was taken on a CIA plane to Bossasso in Somalia, and then to Djibouti. From Djibouti, Suleiman was taken to Afghanistan, where he spent over five punishing years in secret US prisons, including the notorious Dark Prison, the Saltpit, and finally Bagram Airforce Base.

During his entire time in US custody, Suleiman never saw a lawyer, nor was he allowed any contact with family members. Indeed, Suleiman’s family had absolutely no idea where he was until he reappeared over five years after his disappearance.

Ultimately, Suleiman was released back to Tanzania in July 2008, with a piece of paper from Bagram saying that he was not considered a threat to the United States.  To this day, Suleiman has been given no assistance at all by any of the governments or individuals complicit in his abduction, secret detention and torture, and there is no court in the world where he could bring a case with any hope of getting through the doors of the court, let alone an award to help him get on with his life.

Undeterred, since his release, Suleiman has worked to rebuild his life again, and has done remarkably well so far.  Last year Suleiman married a local woman, who has recently given birth to a baby girl. However, Suleiman is struggling to provide for his new family, and he cannot find work in his already, economically depressed island home.  Suleiman is looking for funds to travel to Japan where he has been offered a job loading containers in a dock, and to provide for his new family whilst he gets himself on his feet.

Donate:

You can donate to Suleiman at the following bank account details below:

Account name:    Suleiman A Salim

Account number: 5391729998

Swift Code:         EXTNTZTZ

Chips UID 370780

Bank Address:    Exim Bank (T) Ltd, Dar-Es-Salam, Tanzania

IBAN:                 GB85DEUT40508130585400

 
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Posted by on October 16, 2011 in Campaigns

 

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Djamel Beghal a Calusualty in the Advent of America & Europe’s War on Islam

Written by Arnaud Mafille
Wednesday, 12 October 2011

Ten years after the beginning of the war in Afghanistan, many in America, in Europe or in the Muslim world now challenge the western presence there. In 2001, some of those sentiments already existed but were covered by the trauma of 9/11.  In that context of fear and emotion, the announcement of the arrest of a European “al Qaeda lieutenant” was a key element to conduct and justify the invasion of Afghanistan both in France and the UK.

On 7 October 2001, allied armed forces officially launched “Operation Enduring Freedom”, the invasion of Afghanistan. The enemy had been designated and the US and the UK governments had secret evidence proving that Osama bin Laden was behind the attacks and the Taliban were the helpers of Al Qaeda. Questions regarding the official line were not given any weight.

Emotion and fear were also at their pinnacle in France. When George W. Bush Jr sent an ultimatum to the Taliban regime only few days after the 9/11, the French population was wondering if their military should be part of the foreseeable invasion of Afghanistan.  Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on October 13, 2011 in News Items

 

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Eastern Europe: Accommodating America’s Illegal Extraordinary Rendition

On 7 March 2003 a CIA Gulfstream Jet landed at a remote airstrip in north-eastern Poland. Human rights officials and campaigners are convinced that Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, one of the most senior al-Qaeda suspects, was on board.

American agents took him to a secret facility where, he says, he was tortured before being eventually transferred to Guantanamo Bay.

The secret transfer of CIA prisoners is said to have taken place in both Poland and Lithuania – a region where,
only a generation ago, people were subject to arbitrary detention and torture at the hands of Communist secret police. Now, seven years on, the full story of Poland’s secret detention site is emerging.

Dick Marty, the Council of Europe’s former Rapporteur on Torture, told the BBC: “If I use the judicial standard of proof – and I used to be a magistrate – then I say ‘Yes, Mohammed was in Poland. Yes, he was tortured.‘  Thomas Hammarberg, the Council of Europe’s Commissioner on Human Rights, said he now believed detainees had been subjected to “intense torture” and called for prosecutions.  Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on October 2, 2011 in News Items

 

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