Mohamed Hajib, a German-Moroccan whose imprisonment in Morocco for terrorist activity the United Nations has termed arbitrary, began a hunger strike Monday in protest at his "unfair trial," a rights group said.
Mohamed Hajib, a German-Moroccan whose imprisonment in Morocco for terrorist activity the United Nations has termed arbitrary, began a hunger strike Monday in protest at his “unfair trial,” a rights group said.
“The United Nations has asked the Moroccan state to free Mohamed Hajib because his trial was unfair. But the state has done nothing,” said Anas Hellawi, a member of the Joint Committee for the Defence of Islamist Detainees.
“For that reason, Mohamed Hajib has begun his hunger strike,” he told AFP.
Hajib was convicted of terrorism offences in 2010 and sentenced to 10 years in prison on the basis of a confession allegedly obtained under torture while he was held in pre-trial detention.
His sentence was reduced to five years in January 2012.
In its latest annual report, Amnesty International said the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention declared in August 2012 that Hajib’s detention was arbitrary and urged the Moroccan authorities to release him.
Morocco has been accused in the past 12 months of convicting other Islamists on terrorism charges on the basis of confessions allegedly obtained under torture, including Ali Aarrass, a Belgian-Moroccan extradited from Spain in 2010 and sentenced on appeal to 12 years last October.
Last week, some 200 Moroccans, including dozens of children, protested outside parliament in Rabat demanding the release from prison of Islamist relatives they say are innocent.