The imprisoned Hirak Rif leader Nasser Zefzafi self-harmed in prison, protesting insufficient medical care.
When a nurse began to treat him, Zefzafi “threw the treatment tools and deliberately hurt himself by hitting his hand against the edge of a desk and the wall,” explained the statement.
The Hirak activism leader, who was sentenced to 20 years in prison in June last year, asked for the prison director and a doctor, stating “the [medical] care he received was insufficient,” according to the statement.
The prison administration said that Zefzafi committed “acts in violation of the law with the intent of causing disorder and chaos.”
Following Zefzafi’s act, many Hirak Rif detainees “refused to return to their cells,” reads the statement.
Prison staff immediately transferred Zefzafi to a hospital for medical treatment.
“The prison administration immediately intervened to impose order and ordered the transfer of the detainee to the hospital … because of a swelling over his hand resulting from the injury he deliberately did to himself.”
Zefzafi abstained from attending an appeal hearing on January 14 at the Casablanca Court of Appeals, due to what he called the “absence of fair trial conditions.”
Following his sentencing in June 2018, Zefzafi, along with other detained Hirak activists, went on a series of hunger strikes to protest alleged torture and harassment. Zefzafi asked, according to his father, “for the rights that other prisoners enjoy: that he be taken out of isolation in a solitary cell and put him in a dignified cell where he can see and talk.”
The court convicted most of the activists of “undermining the internal security of the state” and “preparing a conspiracy against internal security,” following their participation in protests which broke out in the northern Al Hoceima province in 2016 and 2017.