The list of the convicted activists who have chosen not to appeal their sentences includes Nabil Ahamjik, Samir Aghid, and Ouassim el Boustati, who were also sentenced to 20 years.
Zefzafi’s father, Ahmed Zefzafi, confirmed his son’s decision to Moroccan news outlets.
The editor in chief of Moroccan news outlet Badil.info, Hamid El Mahdaoui, who received a sentence of 3 years, at first also refused to appeal the court’s decision. “My husband contacted me from prison and told us of his decision not to appeal his verdict,” said El Mahdaoui’s wife to Badil.info.
“I will not participate in this charade and I say to Judges Ali Tarchi, Mahjoub Raqi, Fatmi Damane, Mohamed Mesaoudi and Hakim El Wardi, we will meet in the ‘Great Judgment,’” she added. However, Badil.info posted an update yesterday, saying El Mahdaoui decided to appeal after all.
The activists have only ten days from the date of sentencing to appeal. They will have to decide by Friday, July 6.
The activists’ sentences, ranging from 1 to 20 years, received backlash nationwide, with politicians, celebrities, and international NGOs decrying the heavy judgments against the 54 detainees.
Protests erupted in Nador, Casablanca, and Rabat to denounce the sentences last week.
The government coalition parties and Government Spokesperson Mustapha El Khalfi reacted neutrally to the sentences, saying that they respect the independence of the judiciary.
In a press briefing after the Government Council on Thursday in Rabat, El Khalfi argued that the cabinet cannot interfere “because it does not fall within its jurisdiction, in accordance with the constitution and the democratic rules.”
The activists had been arrested for their involvement in Hirak Rif protests, which reverberated across the Al Hoceima region in 2016 and 2017.