Rabat, February 4, 2013
Rabat, February 4, 2013
Morocco World News
Demand to open an investigation into the death of the student Mohammed El-Fizazy after the violent intervention of Quick Response Forces in the university campus Sais-Fez.
The Moroccan Coalition of Human Rights Boards has followed with great concern the events in the university campus Sais-Fez on January 14th, which resulted in the storming of the university campus by security forces and the use of excessive illegal violence that left a number of students wounded and many others detained. Among those who were severely wounded was the student Mohammed El-Fizazy whose bad condition entailed taking him to the university hospital Hassan II where he died on Friday, January 25th under the effects of security forces’ violence. This is a clear violation of the right to life guaranteed by Article 20 of the Constitution, Article 3 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and Article 6 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights ratified by Morocco which is, thus, obliged to respect and fulfill its international obligations in this regard.
On the basis of preliminary information it has accumulated regarding the violent intervention of the public forces coupled with the violations that touched the right to physical integrity and personal safety of students, the Moroccan Coalition of Human Rights Boards notes the following:
– The atmosphere of tension witnessed by the university in Fez between the students and the administration is the result of accumulated problems in students’ conditions. The officials should have taken heed of the just and legitimate demands of students instead of the policy of procrastination that finally led to reactions from the part of students. The administration should have dealt wisely with these reactions instead of giving the green light to the public forces to storm the campus and intimidate the students.
– What happened on January 14th, 2013 in Fez shows that higher education officials were obliged to intervene to find solutions to the problems rather than resorting to the approach of bullying by security forces which exaggerated in the abuse of students and increased the state of tension in the university.
– What characterized the intervention of the public forces was the violation of all the regulations used in the dispersal of gatherings; the force utilized was unnecessary after the protestors had gone and there was a mismatch between the peaceful protest of the students and the amount of abuse and harm inflicted on them since students were beaten in sensitive parts of their bodies such as the head, chest etc. Another crime was refusing to provide help for citizens in danger by giving urgent first aid to the injured.
The Moroccan Coalition of Human Rights Boards demands the following:
– A quick and serious investigation into the reasons that led to the state of tension in the university and the security forces’ violent storming of the campus and all its accompanying human rights violations, the result of which was the death of the student Mohammed El-Fizazi, a number of injuries and the arrest of a number of students. This investigation is to determine the administrative and the criminal responsibilities in this affair and order the necessary legal sanctions in the subject, so that the violators of human rights would not escape accountability and punishment.
– Expediting the actions that would put an end to the state of tension in the University of Fez through the urgent measures of dropping the judicial trial of students and the immediate release of detainees. Also, the need of opening a serious dialogue with the representatives of the students about their demands in order to respond positively to all that can foster appropriate conditions for study and academic achievement and guarantee freedom and dignity in the space of the university.
While waiting to receive your positive response to our demands, please accept Mr. Prime Minister and all the ministers the expressions of our highest consideration.
The Executive Secretary
Coordinator: Khadija Erriyadi
Translated by Youssef El Kaidi
The views expressed in this letter are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect Morocco World News’ editorial policy