News24

Morocco political prisoner hunger strike

2012-04-11 22:40

Rabat - Twenty-seven political prisoners in Morocco are on hunger strike to protest inhumane conditions, uninvestigated cases of torture and detention without sentencing, rights groups said on Wednesday.

"We demand a rapid intervention by those responsible to protect the legitimate rights of the striking prisoners," a coalition of 18 groups said in a statement.

They listed the 27 prisoners, where they are held and the date they went on hunger strike. Many of the prisoners are students and most have not eaten for weeks, the statement said.

"We have sent correspondence to the director general of prisons, Hafid Ben Hachem, to sound the alarm bell, but we haven't received a reply," Khadija Ryadi, president of the Moroccan Association for Human Rights (AMDH), told AFP.

"We need to follow this problem very closely, because it's about prisoners of conscience," said Mohamed Nechnach, president of the Moroccan Human Rights Organisation (OMDH).

One student, Ezzedine Alroussi, has been on hunger strike since January 12 in the northern city of Taza and had to be taken to hospital in critical health, the statement said.

It said most of the prisoners were arrested recently during protests that have hit the kingdom despite its efforts to avoid being swept up in the Arab Spring.