Rabat – Inside their individual prison cells and on trial, Hirak detainees have a one-word rallying cry on their lips:“resist.” Claims of torture, calling upon death sentences and vandalizing prison facilities, the detainees are firm in their stance.
The Hirak detainees trial is being postponed for the uptenth time. Scheduled for December 26, the trial was once again delayed as the lasting resilience of the Hirak activists was once more brought to light.
On Tuesday, in the midst of turmoiled hearing, the activists’ lawyers informed the judge that “the mass strike” carried out by the detainees erupted due to the “ill-treatment” and “deliberate collective punishment” they claim to be subjected to by prison officials.
A Case in Point: Rejected
Among the cases of violence presented by the defense team, the lawyer of the detainees, Mohamed Agnag, ferreted out the physical abuse exercised on Mohsen Athri.
“Mouhsen was subjected to violence. He was kicked and pushed before being taken to solitary confinement. The results of torture are still visible on him, especially on his arms,” he said.
However, according to the general prosecutor, Athri was taken to solitary confinement because of his “neurotic behavior.”
“Athri was found with a hand watch equipped with a camera. Once exposed, he resisted arrest, took off all of his clothes, including his underwear, and opened the water fountain inside of his prison cell for the water to leak out.”
The Public Prosecutor’s then proceeded to refute all statements made by the defense, referring to the claims as “baseless allegations,” saying that the arguments are “too general and contradictory.”
However, relentless in their pursuit, the defense continued exposing the mistreatment of the activists in contempt of the prosecutor’s dismissal.
A Teacher’s Pointing Stick
“The detainees sleep on the ground, without cover and deprived of hot water and communication means with their families,” a lawyer said.
The defense then continued to oppose, several times, the Public Prosecutor’s Office statements, escalating the tension in the court.
Agitated, the judge ordered the court’s clerk to record a report against one of the lawyers, Khadija Al-Warkani, who responded by saying that “we are not in a classroom for you to threaten us. History is the one to record [facts] not the clerk.”
The high degree of tautness pushed the chairman to adjourn the session.
“They will win back this country”
From the inside of his glass cell, the leader of the movement, Nasser al-Zafzafi flared into a quarrel and demanded to “accelerate the execution of the death penalty against him.”
Zefzafi said that he is ready to be executed starting tomorrow. “I would die as a martyr for this country.”
“Any victory is greater than this. We have left children, young men and women behind us. They will win back this country,” he roared inside the courtroom.
The detainees responded to their leader by shouting slogans in support of the movement and promises to continue the resistance.
The session was resumed after Zefzafi’s interruption, only to be postponed for a second time, as the tension continued to feed the fire.
This time, however, the lawyers were the ones to call off the hearing because of what they called “the lack of time given to them to respond to the prosecutor.”