Report: Concerning the recent events on the 15,16 and 17th of May
In the name of Allah, and all praise is due to Allah, and prayers and salutations upon the prophet, his family, his companions and their followers.
The veil has finally been removed and the makeup has finally faded away and the true face of the regime became apparent.
They could no longer bare their creation of lies and their exposed antics and their hollow claims regarding their respect of the right to rally and civilised protests, and the right of expression within the boundaries of the law.
They set of in complete barbarism and insanity to crush skulls, break ribs and to shed blood not differentiation between the young or old or women. So that this may be a harsh lesson for the people, warning them against coming close to the operations room of the corrupt regime. The room in which the nails of opponents are removed or they are removed along with the finger if need may be.
In this manner the states hysterical campaigns began on the evening of Saturday 14/05/2011. They cut all routes to the city of Rabat for everyone who thought of attempting to protest peacefully. Likewise those attempting to come from Tetouan, Tangiers, Nador, Casablanca, Aqadir and many other cities faced the same fate and many of them were arrested. The number of those arrested in Fes Alone exceeded 40 persons amongst them a woman with her 8 year old daughter. She was kidnapped from a coach heading to Rabat. Her night along with her terrified daughter was spent in Fes police station. After the police decided to release her the morning of the next day, this sister in complete defiance stood like a champion and made an oath by Allah to not leave unless all the other prisoners are released.
At the same time and specifically in the morning of the Sunday at the “Aswaq Al-Salam” markets, there were clear orders and stern instructions to suppress any person wishing to walk by the notorious prison. The state believed that their awe has collapsed and their dignity has been rubbed in the dust. The security forces are known for their keenness on immediately carrying out orders especially if it concerns suppressing the people. They have shown their great skill in suppressing the masses of unarmed protestors that have no power by breaking bones and shedding blood not distinguishing between a young child and a weak woman.
And thus the organisers decided to change their destination and head towards the house that supposedly represents the people and adopts their concerns and upholds their expectations. However the occasion was harsher and worse. With extreme brutality the repression forces without prior warning began to surround the protestors and beat them with batons and sticks. Dozens were seriously injured and were refused ambulance transport to the hospital. Many more were arrested among them the national coordinator of the “coordination of former Islamist detainees” Usama Boutahir. The coordination places the full responsibility for his safety on the security services. It also calls for his immediate release and all those held with him.
In further developments, particularly Monday 16th May 2011the prison directorate at the behest of the security services abducted six prisoners from Sale Zaki prison. Amongst those abducted was Bushta Al-Sharif. At the same time, prison employees climbed upon the roofs raising sticks and batons in a pre-emptive move. The prisoners understood from this move the nearing of an intervention by the repression forces to strip the detainees of all their possessions and to retaliate against them in ways similar to the repression they faced in the days after 16th of May (bombings) at the hands of the prison director Abdul ‘Aati.
The prisoner found no other way but to climb to the roof to demonstrate peacefully to use it as leverage in negotiations all in order to flee from the merciless repression forces. However the appearance of Hafidh bin Hashim a figure of the old guard from the past “lead era” caused them to become more resolute on not descending unless all assurances for their safety are met. This is because Hafidh bin Hashim threatened them either it will be death or severe torture similar to what was seen in Temera detention centre. This raised the tension and fear in the ranks of the prisoners.
The state deteriorated after the arrival of dozens if not hundreds of security personnel and rapid intervention forces so they may directly take part in the process of displacement and abuse of detainees. This dilemma caused the prisoners to decide to take up the right of self defence with means at their disposal. To note, it was the security forces that began the attack and targeted the prisoners with rounds of rubber bullets and tear gas. As a result one prisoner received a direct hit that dropped him off the high walls resulting in a double fracture in his left arm, a broken nose and a deep wound on his forehead. He was unable to receive any first aid treatment from the health services instead he remained in the care of his fellow brethrens in the prison. The attacks of the security services continued throughout Monday and Tuesday night resulting in the injury of many prisoners with varying degrees of severity. One of the videos recorded by the prisoners and leaked online showed the prisoners being targeted with rocks by the security forces. The prisoners demonstrated restraint and did not respond to such provocation.
In dangerous developments on the morning of Tuesday, the security forces began to fire live rounds at the prisoners. This led to the injuring of three prisoners. One of them is thought to have died as a bullet penetrated his chest and existed through his back. The authorities are yet to confirm or deny the death of this prisoner (Zakariyyah BenArif) for the sake of his ordeal. This event of the prisoners seeing their fellow brothers taking their last breath, further deteriorated the situation and caused them to believe that their fate will not be any different. The authorities failed to carry out any attempt to assist him or save him from passing away.
This was closely followed by an all out attack by the security forces, heavily armed with sticks and batons, in a desperate attempt to take down the prisoners. They faced a defence by the prisoners for the sake of themselves, their brothers, and the injured by all available means. This particular event is the only one which was filmed and aired on national television in an attempt to show the protestors in the image of rebellious groups that target the security forces, riot and cause anarchy. Two or three injured security personnel were also shown, disregard the dozens of seriously injured prisoners.
In the evening of Tuesday a helicopter hovered for long hours over the prison. An extremely high ranking security official entered the negotiations and clearly outlined that they would either eradicate the prisoners with live rounds or they descend immediately. He also promised them that they would be spared from and repercussions and that they would suffice with transferring them to different prisons.
This guarantee was the reason for the protestors to descend from the prisons. Only then to be shackled for long hours, then transferred on the evening of Tuesday to an unknown location…
To conclude, the “coordination of former Islamist detainees”:
– Strongly condemns all who provoked the prisoners and forced them to demonstrate.
– Places full responsibility on the prisons directorate and its director Hafidh bin Hashim who added to the deterioration of the situation.
– Condemns the excessive use of force against the demonstrators, and the brutal crackdown upon them.- Condemns the bias of the official media against the oppressed.
– Calls for the immediate release of all those arrested for peacefully protesting on Sunday the 15th of May, especially Usama Boutahir. It also condemns the return back to the policy of lies and fabrication of files.
– We will continue our peaceful struggle to achieve our fair and legitimate demands which are shared amongst all components of the Moroccan people
To conclude we wish to thank all rights activists and politicians who stood by us in our struggle.
The Coordination of Former Islamist Detainees