Justice for Mohamed Dihani, a sahrawi citizen imprisoned by the moroccan authorities

Oct 13th, 2012 | By | Category: News

Freedom for Mohamed Dihani

Mohamed Dihani has been sentenced to ten years in prison. He was victim of forced disappearance, ill treatment and torture, and he did not have a fair trial. Next 12th of November his case will be reviewed by a Moroccan Court. Please act joining this urgent action.

The Human Rights Section of the Saragossan Bar Association, Western Sahara Human Rights Watch (WSHRW) ,the Spanish Society for International Human Rights Law (AEDIDH) and  the Human Rights Association of Spain (APDHE) have fully reliable information about the situation of the Sahrawi citizen Mohamed Dihani.

According to the official documents, the record of the case, the information published in the media and the statements made by several Human Rights Associations (the Sahrawi Association of Victims of Grave Human Rights Violations Committed by the Moroccan State and the Moroccan Human Rights Association) Mohamed Dihani is currently imprisoned in the Moroccan penitentiary called Sale 2, serving a 10-year prison sentence; this sentence has been passed by the Court the 27th of October, 2011.

Mohamed Dihani has been arrested several times before by the occupying Moroccan authorities as a result of his involvement in the protest campaigns in favour of the self-determination of the Sahrawi people.

The family of Mohamed Dihani testified that he was kidnapped in April 2010 in front of his house by security officers dressed in civilian clothes and that his whereabouts were unknown until six months later, when the official Moroccan news agency MAP announced his detention. Since his disappearance his family has filed many complaints to the Moroccan authorities asking for an inquiry on the whereabouts of Mohamed Dihani. In addition, they have reported to the Moroccan authorities the serious tortures that Mohamed Dihani has suffered under custody.

After the detention of Mohamed Dihani was announced, he was falsely accused of terrorism. Allegedly, he planned terrorist attacks; however, it is considered an attempt of the Moroccan authorities to attribute connections with jihadist terrorism to him. This spurious intention has been denounced by the Sahrawi Association of Victims of Grave Human Rights Violations Committed by the Moroccan State. This association has described the trial against this Saharawi activist as `prefabricated´. Furthermore, the Moroccan Human Rights Association considers Mohamed Dihani as `prisoner of conscience´ and has asked for an improvement of his conditions in prison.

During the trial, Mohamed Dihani claimed that the confession made to the police was obtained under torture, and he firmly rejected the accusations. The Sentence is not based in any other evidence but the confession made to the police under torture.

The appeal that Mohamed Dihani lodged has led to a hearing that was expected for the 17th of September, 2012. Finally, it has been postponed until the 12th of November, and it is going to be held in Rabat.

Due to all of this, we call the State of Morocco and the international community for the following requests:

  1. Expressing our deep concern about the reports of torture and ill treatment suffered by Mohamed Dihani, every appropriate measures shall be taken to ensure his security and physical integrity, in a framework of full respect to Human Rights and fundamental liberties, in accordance with the International Human Rights Law and, particularly with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
  2. The judges that constitute the Court of Appeals who are entitled to decide in the case of Mohamed Dihani shall abide by the right to fair trial and due process of law, effective judicial protection, and presumption of innocence, in order to pronounce a Sentence according to the International Agreements, Conventions and Treaties on Human Rights and fundamental liberties, binding for all the Moroccan authorities and assumed as applicable national law.
  3. All the reports of forced disappearance, torture, ill treatment, cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment made in the case of Mohamed Dihani shall be properly submitted to full independent inquiry.
  4. The Moroccan Penitentiary Administration shall scrupulously respect the basic Human Rights standards concerning the imprisonment of Mohamed Dihani, in accordance with the Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners, adopted by the United Nations.

Send your action:

Wolfgang Weisbrod-Weber, Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Head of the United Nations Mission for the Referendum in Western Sahara (MINURSO) http://www.un.org/en/peacekeeping/about/contact.asp

Embassy of the Kingdom of Morocco to Spain. correo@embajada-marruecos.es

Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation of Spain:  informae@mae.es

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