Rabat - Mohammed Ziane, lawyer of detained leading Rif protest activist Nasser Zafzafi, has said the letter attributed to his client is authentic, despite claims it was fake.
Rabat – Mohammed Ziane, lawyer of detained leading Rif protest activist Nasser Zafzafi, has said the letter attributed to his client is authentic, despite claims it was fake.
Ziane, who is also a member of the defense team for the Rif protesters detained in Casablanca’s Oukacha prison, confirmed that Zafzafi wrote the letter and added that he had received it from the detainee.
“This letter was written by Zafzafi himself. He gave it to me in person and that is why I published the whole text”, announced Ziane during a press conference on Saturday.
On Friday, the validity of the letter made the headlines of various Moroccan online media outlets.
The General Directorate of the Prison and Reintegration Administration (DGAPR) released a statement the same day denying the letter was written by Zafzafi, and claiming the Hirak protester had confirmed this.
Later in the day,Zafzafi was reportedly transferred to the headquarters of the National Brigade of Judiciary Police (BNPJ) for investigation over the letter.
“It is not clear why he [Zafzafi] is under interrogation. The reason could probably be the letter that circulated,” said Khadija Rougani, another member of Zafzafi’s defense team.
Prior to his arrest for “undermining state security” and “undermining the loyalty of the citizens towards state institutions”on May 29, Zafzafi was seen as the leading Hirak activist. Described as ‘”charismatic”, the 39-year unemployed Rifi was highly critical of the government, as evidenced by speeches he gave in rallies and videos that were published on social media.
Despite being accused of advocating for separatism and facing charges of participating in “armed protests” and “violence against security forces”,the letter attributed to Zafzafi urged protesters to preserve the peacefulness of demonstrations.
“He who throws a stone has betrayed Hirak and the detainees, and he who breaks a glass is not [a member] of Hirak”, said the letter.