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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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Abu Mouadh Nourdine Nafi’a: December 2010 (I am overpowered, so help me!)

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.

In the very same year we found out that my wife had a tumor in her head. Hence I used to travel from one hospital to another and from country to another. I increased in my trade transactions and interaction to be able to pay off treatment and travel costs. This continued until I managed with the help of other business men to set up an import and export office. In (Year not mentioned) a doctor advised that it was necessary for my wife to have laser treatment to remove the tumor or she would be in danger of losing her sight. They advised me to travel to Jeddah to carry out the operation. We tried but we couldn’t get a visa for Umrah for Ramadhan 1423 AH, November 2002CE. Some tradesmen advised us to travel to Mauritania where citizenship is relatively easy to get and then to travel to Saudi during the hajj season.

That is what we did. Read the rest of this entry »

 

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