Rabat – Forcibly deported from the USA late last December, Moroccan activist Siham Byah has said that the circumstances of her “inhumane” deportation point towards “a possible collusion between US and Moroccan authorities.”
Byah sees her deportation from America as a politically motivated vendetta, and an act of “political vengeance” aimed at “punishing” her for supporting social movements and human rights, both in Morocco and in the U.S.
During a press conference yesterday in Rabat, the 40-year-old activist described her painful deportation memories, explaining that American authorities had first confiscated her residency permit in 2012, denied her basic rights on multiple occasions while still in the U.S., before finally deporting her, on December 28, “without due process and under direct instructions from Washington.”
For Byah, her deportation from the U.S was a calculated move made possible through “coordination between US and Moroccan governments.” The whole story, she explained, is “politically motivated” and aims to “take revenge” on her for her support for the Rif movements, as well as her general “outspoken criticism and fearless activism,” adding that before being deported from the U.S, in July 2017, she had participated in two demonstrations in support of the Hirak Rif.
Of her deportation, Byah said that she was lied to by ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) officials, denied family contact, and was made to board the plane handcuffed and with shackled wrists and ankles. Officials never told her why she’d been “chosen” for deportation, she said.
Byah also seized the press conference opportunity to call upon U.S authorities to review the legality of her deportation, and to duly investigate the reasons for her mistreatments by American police. She urged American authorities to provide her eight-year-old Naseem –who has American nationality and is allegedly in the custody of the Massachusetts Department of Children and Family–with necessary psychological assistance