Rabat - The five members of the Justice and Development Party's (PJD) Youth division accused of “praising terrorism” suspended their hunger strike on Friday, reported the party’s website.
Rabat – The five members of the Justice and Development Party’s (PJD) Youth division accused of “praising terrorism” suspended their hunger strike on Friday, reported the party’s website.
The decision came in response to a plea from PJD Secretary General Abdelilah Benkirane to end their strike, which lasted ten days, said Ahmed Amekraz, the detainees’ lawyer.
The detainees had been arrested in late December over Facebook posts deemed by authorities to have praised the assassination of the Russian ambassador to Turkey by a Turkish police officer.
Amekraz added that, when he visited the detainees in custody in Salé Prison 1, he told the them that Benkirane had been calling for them to stop the strike.
“We temporarily decided to suspend our hunger strike following the request of Secretary General Abdelilah Benkirane in respect for his symbolic position in the party,” Amekraz wrote on his Facebook page on behalf the detainees.
As soon as the detainees announced their hunger strike, their partisan colleagues stated that they were following the case “with great concern” and criticized their detention.
They described the judge’s decision as a “human rights setback threatening freedom of expression” and a “deterrent to young people” interested in politics.
“PJD’s Youth has been, and will always remain, a place where younger generations learn the values of moderation that our religion advocates,” the statement read. “We totally reject any implicit accusation of PJD’s Youth of extremism.”