Rabat - The father of moderate Salafi activist El Mortada Iamrachen, currently detained under allegations that he praised terrorism, has died while his son is still in prison.
Rabat – The father of moderate Salafi activist El Mortada Iamrachen, currently detained under allegations that he praised terrorism, has died while his son is still in prison.
Iamrachen, who is an activist in the Hirak protest movement in city and region of Al Hoceima, is currently being prosecuted for praising terrorism, an accusation that was widely criticized in Moroccan social media as the activist is known for his moderate political and religious stances.
During his detention in Salé, his father passed away in Al Hoceima. Calls on social media have spread to allow Iamrachen to attend his father’s funeral.
Media reports stated that the Minister of Justice Mouhamed Aujar signed an exceptional permit so that Iamrachen can travel to Al Hoceima for the funeral, adding that he was taken to the city by plane.
Most recent reports say he will be released from prison while waiting trial.
El Mortada’s father saw his health deteriorate following the arrest of his son earlier in June.
An “enlightened” Salafi
Iamrachen was among the Rif protests activists who agreed to engage in dialogue with the government to resolve the ongoing crisis in the Rif, where demonstrations have continued now for eight months.
In addition to his political activism in the Hirak and previously in the 20th February movement in 2011, Iamrachen has been active on social media, promoting dialogue between religions and defending individual liberties,minorities, and gay rights.
An unemployed former Imam, Iamrachen was reportedly prevented from leaving the Moroccan territory when he triedto travel to Saudi Arabia, where he had previously lived for some time, in search of a job.
The Al Hoceima native activist, who maintains he is a Salafi, is widely respected by other secular and liberal activists of human rights and individual liberties.
According to his lawyer, Iamrachen was accused of praising terrorism on Facebook following the assassination of Russian ambassador to Turkey in December 2016.
However, in the Facebook post, which continues to be shared on social media, Iamrachen clearly states that the assassination is a “terrorist” act.
“The killing of the Russian ambassador is a terrorist crime and the murderer is a criminal whatever his motives are,” he wrote.
Another post dating back to June 9 sheds more light on the case. Iamrachen revealed that he was contacted by a journalist who claimed there was information stating that he tried to smuggle weapons into Rif region in 2011, and that he did so in complicity with Libyan rebels.
Iamrachen said he responded with sarcasm to the questions.
“Yes, indeed. These were the orders of Ayman Al Zawhiri when I visited him in Tora Bora.”
His arrest, as well as the detention of other leading Hirak activists, who are facing heavy charges of “undermining” the security of the state and territorial integrity of Morocco, has led the government come under huge criticism for its management of the crisis in Al Hoceima and its toughened stance against protesters.