Casablanca - Five members of the Justice and Development Party (PJD) have been arrested in line with the ministry of Interior’s warning that any citizens expressing sympathy for acts of terrorism and/or those who commit them may face imprisonment.
Casablanca – Five members of the Justice and Development Party (PJD) have been arrested in line with the ministry of Interior’s warning that any citizens expressing sympathy for acts of terrorism and/or those who commit them may face imprisonment.
This latest controversy was sparked by the recent assassination of the Russian Ambassador to Turkey and has travelled beyond Turkish borders, evidenced by a statement criminalizing the indulgence of sympathy for acts of terrorism, released jointly by the Moroccan Ministry of the Interior and the Ministry of Justice.
Investigations conducted by the Central Bureau of Judicial Investigation (BCIJ) have led to the arrest of five militant members of the Justice and Development Party, whose identities have not yet been made public. The arrest warrants were executed in Benguerir, Tangier, Taourirt and Driouche.
The activists’ lawyer, Abdessamad Idrissi, who is also a member of parliament representing the same party, was quoted in French-language news source Le360, as stating that there might have been an error in the qualification of facts as the PJD militants “were prosecuted under the provisions of the Anti-Terrorism Act,” when perhaps they should have been prosecuted under the Press and Publishing Code.
The lawyer referred to Article 72 of the press code, which mandates a fine ranging from 20,000 to 200,000 dirhams for the defense of terrorism.
The first arrest took place on December 22nd in Benguerir and concerned the Local Secretary of the PJD’s youth. The remaining arrests have taken place since then with detainees spending up to twelve days of pre-trial detention. This duration is determined in Code of Criminal Procedure on cases pertaining to terrorism.
Idrissi explained, “At the moment we do not know the charges against them because of the confidential nature of the investigation.”