Mohamed Hajib’s Wrongful Imprisonment
Bismillah Ar Rahman Nir Raheem
Mohamed Hajib is a dual moroccan/german citizen married with three very young children, Omar Khattab (six years old), Ubaidah Ahmed (four years old) and Safia (two years old) .
At approximately 1a.m. on the 18th of February 2010 Mohamed was kidnapped departing from a flight from Frankfurt to Casablanca by five men in civilian clothing. He was handcuffed and bundled into a vehicle. It all happened very fast, and he was not able to comprehend what was happening to him. He presumed it was a mistake, a case of mistaken identity. He was then taken to a prison in Casablanca.
Shortly after his kidnapp the men were introduced to Mohamed as employees of the moroccan secret service.
His mother, father and son Omar Khattab (four years old at the time) waited for hours at the airport, not knowing what had happened to Mohamed, and to their dismay the airport police, airport information, etc. were not willing or able (as the case may be) to give any information regarding his whereabouts.
His family was distraught, worried and confused about what may have happened to Mohamed.
Five days later his mother received a phonecall from a police commissioner informing her that Mohamed was in custody. His family was however prohibited from visiting him or speaking to him during his time in custody in Casa.
In prison in Casa he was interrogated, beaten, tortured and threatened by the interrogaters that if he did not co-operate with them they would bring his mother and wife in to custody and that he would see what would happen. He was told by a drunken interrogater that german officials had contacted the moroccan secret service on the 17th of February 2010 to inform them that Mohamed Hajib would be arriving in Casa and requested them to arrest him.
Approximately two weeks later, at the end of the interrogation and under duress he was forced to sign a document, a document which he was not allowed to read . They accused him of fighting against american and pakistani forces in Afghanistan.
On the first March 2010 Mohamed was transported from Casablanca to Rabat where he was questioned and on the same day from Rabat to Salé.
On his arrival in Salé he was met by a representative of the German Consulate Rabat, whereby the representative showed Mohamed a document which they had received from the German Consulate Islamabad stating that Mohamed was arrested in Pakistan merely on the grounds that he was not in possession of a visa. Mohamed asked the representative to help, but the man replied that he was limited to the extent of which he could help Mohamed for fear of disturbing the good raport between Germany and Morocco.
To Mohamed’s and his family’s dismay he was then imprisoned in Zaki Salé 1.
From this day on his family continuously requested the German Consulate Rabat to disclose the document stating that Mohamed was not arrested in Pakistan for any terrorist related activities. Unfortunately the Consulate stated that such a document did not exist.
Mohamed’s wife wrote a letter to the American Embassy in Morocco explaining Mohamed’s story and asking them to carry out their own investigation into Mohamed’s case. However she received no reply.
On the 10th May 2010 Mohamed began a hunger-strike (which lasted for 46 days) in protest of his innocence.
Approximately six weeks into his hunger-strike, on the 24th of June 2010 Mohamed was brought on a stretcher (due to his innability to walk, his frightening loss of weight) to court on the charges of financing terrorism and being a member of a terrorist group. He was very incoherent and unable to defend himself due to his slurring of words and fatigue. He was charged on both accounts and sentenced to a horrifying ten years, although there was no evidence whatsoever to link him to any terrorist group or terrorist activities. No evidence.
On hearing his sentence Mohamed became very weak. He was transported from the court-room to the prison hospital in Souissi, Rabat where he remained for 22 days. His family, his parents, wife nor his three children were given permission to visit Mohamed during his stay in the prison hospital.
Mohamed’s lawyer sent three letters to the german consulate Rabat requesting them to disclose the vital document proving Mohamed’s innocence. His lawyer’s request however was refused, and the consulate informed him that they were not at liberty to provide such a document.
On the 11th of October 2010 Mohamed once again appealed his case. Unfortunately his sentence remained unchanged – 10 years.
On the 25th of February 2011 Mohamed climbed up on the wall of prison Zaki Salé 1 threatening to burn himself alive with the bottle of petrol which he had in his possession. He threatenend to do so if he and the other innocent prisoners were not released. The moroccan authorities cannot sentence an innocent man to 10 years in prison and expect him to accept it. It is absurd, unjust, distressing… At this time Mohamed’s wife contacted the german consulate Rabat asking for help. She asked for the document proving Mohamed’s innocence but once again they denied that such a document existed .
On the 26th of February 2011 after negotiations with moroccan officials Mohamed descended from the wall. He was ensured that significant changes would be made in relation to living conditions etc. of the prisoners.
In March 2011 Mohamed and the other prisoners of Zaki Salé1 once again protested, protested their innocence, demanding that their cases be reviewed. On the 25th of March 2011 an agreement between the moroccan authorities and the prisoners was signed, ensuring the release of the prisoners.
Shortly after the agreement was signed a small number of prisoners were released.
Mohamed made a video from the prison in relation to the release of the prisoners, stating that those released had very short periods of time left to serve of their sentences.
The agreement made on the 25th March 2011 was not kept. No further prisoners were released.
On the 9th of January 2012 Mohamed was in court for his third and final appeal. For this appeal Mohamed’s lawyer in Germany managed to obtain a letter (although it was not the original document from Pakistan) from the German Foreign Ministry in Berlin stating that as far as they were informed by the pakistani authorities Mohamed was arrested in Pakistan only due to his visa. His 10 year sentence was reduced to 5. Human Rights groups, lawyers, his family and friends were all disappointed with the outcome. Everyone especially Mohamed was expecting his release.
On the 19th April 2012 Mohamed will be brought to court once again regarding the events which occurred in prison Zaki Salé 1 on the 16th and 17th May 2011.
The moroccan authorities stated that Mohamed was and is of no national security threat to the country – The pakistani authorities dismissed the possibility that Mohamed was involved in any terrorist group or activities – Mohamed was never arrested in Germany for any reason nor was he considered a national security threat to Germany.
So why was Mohamed Hajib sentenced to a horrifying 10 years in prison?
May Allah hasten the release of Mohamed Hajib and all the detainees. May Allah give them patience and success in this dunya and al firdaus in akhira. May Allah forgive us all.
Baraka Allahu Feekum. Jasakum Allahu Khairan.