The statement comes a few days after the release of the journalist.
Rabat – Morocco’s General Delegation for Prison Administration and Reintegration (DGAPR) issued a response to the remarks Moroccan journalist Hamid El Mahdaoui made regarding the situation of Moroccan prisons.
Upon his release from prison on Monday, El Mahdaoui gave a few interviews to Moroccan Arabic language news outlets. He criticized the living conditions of detainees in Moroccan prisons, including references to the provision of medical care and food services.
He also claimed that several prisoners were subject to torture.
DGAPR denied the remarks on Wednesday, describing them as “unfounded” and “irresponsible.”
“Concerning medical care, this detainee has already benefited from several internal and external examinations,” the statement said.
DGAPR argued that the journalist underwent 50 general medical examinations, in addition to 47 dental examinations and a dermatological examination.
The prison administration also denied the claims El Mahdaoui alleged of torture of prisoners at the local prison of Tiflet 2, where he was detained.
DGAPR said the claims are “irresponsible statements without any foundation,” adding that the administration and prison employees “behave with all prisoners in accordance with legal provisions in force.”
The administration argued that in the event of an overrun, the “competent legal authorities are advised to take the necessary action.”
In addition to claims of torture and lack of medical care inside the prison, El Mahdaoui said that prisoners do not receive proper meals.
DGAPR said that the meals provided to prisoners are prepared by “specialized companies according to a diversified food program which meets the necessary quantitative and qualitative standards in terms of calories.”
The administration also pointed to El Mahdaoui’s evident good health upon his release.
The journalist left prison on July 20 after serving a three-year sentence.
His detention dates back to July 2017, after a speech he gave at Place Mohammed VI in Al Hoceima, encouraging activists to join protests deemed unauthorized.
Al Hoceima province witnessed massive protests in 2016 and 2017 after the death of local fishmonger Mouhcine Fikri.