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Tag Archives: Morocco

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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Khaled Ben Mustafa: A Day in Guantanamo

Khaled Ben Mustafah (born in 1972) was one of five French citizens arrested in Afghanistan in 2001. He was detained at Guantanamo for three years before being sent back to France for trial in 2004.

Although originally convicted in France in 2007, his trial was overturned on appeal and he was released in February 2009. On February 17, 2010, the Court of Cassation, a higher court, ordered a re-trial of Khaled Ben Mustafa and four other men. Lawyers for ex-inmates of the Guantanamo prison camp used documents released by WikiLeaks to argue for their acquittal in a French terrorism trial on January 20, 2011.

In this testimony for witnesstoguantanamo, he describes a typical day in Guantanamo circa 2004 in the lower security camps (eg Camp 4).

 

 
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Posted by on October 23, 2012 in Videos

 

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Brothers Released from Salé Prison 2!!

!!!الحمد الله الذي بنعمته تتم الصالحات و الله اكبر

Praise is to Allah Who by His Blessing all good things are perfected, Allah is the Greatest!!!

Four of our Freed Brothers May Allah Preserve Them Ameen!

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We are pleased to convey the news from our brothers at A Voice For The Political Detainees In Morocco  that as of today 5 Jumada al-Thanni (26 April) some of our brothers (Hajooli ‘Abdur Raheem, al-Misriyah al-Faqir, ‘Abd Allah Ayat Bahee, and Krooznee ‘Amr ) have been released from Salé Prison 2 in Morocco, we ask Allah to keep them safe, to sooth their breasts and the hearts of their families to keep them and their families steadfast and to increase them in the best of this world and The Next. Ameen. We also ask Him that He Frees our other brothers and sisters held in the prisons of the oppressors of the Maghrib and every place between the heavens and the earth, Ameen Ya Rab!

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Zakariyyah Benarif Released from Sale (who was shot during the rooftop 'riots' in the chest) May Allah Reward him and his family, Ameen!

Please continue to keep our brothers and sisters in the Maghrib in your constant and sincere du’a and never forget or forsake our Prisoners or their families! 

 
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Posted by on April 26, 2012 in Bushara

 

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Absent Justice: Muslims in al-Maghrib & Their Plight

Moazzam Begg discusses the case of political prisoners in Morocco with Muhamed El Guerbouzi, a Moroccan political dissident, Yousef Dorghoul, a prisoner rights campaigner and Um Adam El-Mejjati, a human rights worker and the wife of a detainee.

Absent Justice is a new television series which looks at case studies from around the world relating to human rights and civil liberties violations. Join Moazzam Begg as he speaks to some inspiring and courageous individuals as they recount their struggle for justice.Every second Friday at 9pm, only on the Islam Channel [Sky channel 813]
 
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Posted by on March 13, 2012 in Collateral Damage, Videos

 

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Your Sister Umm Jihad Asks the Ummah for Help | اختك أم جهاد وقالت انها تطاب المسا عدة من الأمة

Thami Najim was arrested in Morocco the third of February 2012. He used to live in Denmark where he was active in daw’ah, and calling the people to Islam, giving lectures in danish, and promoting the religion. This is his wife’s plea for help. Due to his work in propagating Islam and his affiliation with a outlawed non-violent political organisation he has been arrested, and has been held over a month without charge of any crime save the fact that he is Muslim and cares deeply about his religion. Please spread the message and help in creating awareness for his case so that they may yet again be reunited in Dunya, and al-Akhirah Insha’Allah.

 
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Posted by on March 13, 2012 in Collateral Damage, News Items, Videos

 

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Jesse Curtis Morton: February 17, 2012* (Solitary Confinement: A First-Hand Reflection on Domestic Torture in a Time of Terror)

 

They locked me in this room, Alone, by myself, just me –
With no one to talk to except for the walls, or the face in the mirror I see.
So I sit, listen, and watch
the television in my head
Not a notion to move nor a second spared
I record everything that is said –
Absence of Kindness, Distinct Memories of Pain
Caused by the things that they took away
So I’m holding my breath,until they let me out
But I’m afraid of what might happen the next time I breathe.

I wrote that poem when I was 17.  These days I am living it; all over again.  Then it was a proverbial prison.  I was a conscious youth inside one of the most dangerous institutions of America:  the public high school.  Today, 16 years later, I am in another – the U.S.prison system where I am but one of a growing number of Muslim Americans who dared to speak out.  Today I am a pretrial federal inmate housed in solitary confinement and in conditions that best resemble those of Guantanamo Bay.

Trust me I am not alone.  In 1994, my junior year of high school, the U.S. Justice Department announced that the prison population had reached one million.  By 2009, that number had more than doubled to 2.3 million with 5 million more on probation or parole.  U.S. citizens now represent only 5% of the global population but account for 25% of the world’s prisoners.  Additionally,1 in15 Americans is in “extreme poverty” with 48% of Americans labeled “in poverty” or “working poor”, but a recent Gallup poll documented that the percentage of Americans that realize the levels of poverty are so high, has dramatically decreased.  These two seemingly distinct sets of statistics suggest something more sinister is going on.

The civil rights era included prison protests like the Attica riots of 1971 and paved a way for productive reform, but today talk of human rights tends to cover a manipulative compromise with the power elite and diverts attention away from structural cause.  Generally prisoners today have enhanced rights and services but like the starving people fed by NGO’s in Africa or refugee camps in Afghanistan, such rights and philanthropy are counterproductive where they allow society to ignore the root causes of such appalling levels of crime, punishment, hunger or war.  These contradictions become apparent with regard to civil liberties in a time of confrontation, when the citizen is reduced to an object of propaganda about domestic enemies in order to maintain public support for wars abroad.

The authors of the American constitution unanimously resented any sacrifice of civil liberties in the name of national security, but the reaction to 9/11, the immediate passage of the Patriot Act and a new approach to law enforcement the Bush Administration called a “preventative paradigm” ushered in an order of sustained national liberty sacrifice.  These changes disproportionately affected American Muslims, however while “terrorists” abroad were “disappeared”, water boarded and held without charges at Guantanamo Bay, the courts approved warrantless wiretapping, ethnic profiling, blacksite rendition and preventative detention targeting Muslims on America’s shores.  Wartime propaganda alongside a wave of arrests utilizing entrapment, where undercover agents encourage fund, and coerce potential terrorist attacks, have helped to sustain support.  Recent polling documents that two-thirds of Americans support sacrificing some privacy and freedoms in the fight against terrorism. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on February 20, 2012 in Letters from Jesse Curtis Morton, Risala

 

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An Open Letter to the American Government: Transfer Our Husband to Guantanamo…

… It’s Much More Merciful

Peace upon those who follow the guidance:

We the undersigned Nouzha Amrani and Fatiha Hassani (Um Adam El-Mejjati), the lawful wives of Moulay Umar Amrani Hadi who is sentenced to 10 years imprisonment  unjustly. He is constantly being transferred to and from Toulal 2 prison and Sale’ 2 prison. We appeal to the American government to transfer its prisoner from its previously mentioned prisons to its detention centre in Guantanamo, Cuba.

This is for the following reasons:

Your prisoner suffers from various chronic illnesses, he is 47 years old, yet he is always subjected to torture. Bearing in mind he was sentenced to prison only not prison and torture.

Types of torture:

Psychological torture:

Subjecting him to constant psychological pressure by, Provocation, humiliation, Insults and threats. He is held in a wing with the general prison population where cigarette smoke fills the air, abusive language is the norm and there is constant noise that prevents him from sleeping. For nine months he has been held in solitary confinement, in a very small cell that lacks the conditions for human residence. He was put in a punishment cell twice within three months. He is prevented from direct visits (without barriers), and being with his wife Nouzha Amrani. They suffice with a barrier visit, even his kids, Abdulrahman, 7, and Zainab, 5. Since three weeks ago his son visited him without a barrier for 15 minutes only in an office. They had a desk in-between them and were surrounded by guards. Zainab refused to go to the visit because of what she experienced before. She would remember the barriers and small windows and the fact she couldn’t sit with her father nor kiss him. He is prevented from seeing his second wife Um Adam, since the 4th of July 2011, even if the visit is a barrier visit. This continues although she has legal permission from the general prosecutor of the King in Meknes. The prison administration and all those behind it, have sought to hinder the process of completing a legal (marriage) contract, bearing in mind we have completed all the necessary procedures on our part from the date of the 28th of February 2011.  Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on February 12, 2012 in Collateral Damage, News Items

 

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