Noel Ignatiev's Blog

Urgent Appeal from Morocco

By Richard Greeman
Posted by Noel Ignatiev

Dear Friends,

I have just received an urgent appeal from comrades in Morocco, where
I was so warmly during the heady days of the Arab Spring, as I
reported just a year ago. Today, the young Feburary 20th Movement is
on the defensive. French-supported King Mohammed VI, after making
cosmetic changes in the Constitution, has reverted to the naked
tyranny of his father, cracking down on demonstrations and all forms
of political activity.

See below for detailed analysis of the situation, but first please
sign this petition and help us save the lives of five imprisoned
Moroccan student demonstrators, one of whom has been on a hunger
strike since Dec. 1st, 2011. And please circulate this petition far
and wide. Lives are at stake, and these avaaz petitions sometimes

Richard Greeman

Report and analysis:

Morocco is subject to a huge wave of repression. Though the government
prides itself in having promulgated a new Constitution advertised as a
democratic advance, citizens’ demonstrations have been systematically
repressed for months. The list is long: from the military expulsion of
unemployed graduate students everytime they demonstrated, to the
extremely brutal eviction of hundreds of inhabitants of shantytowns,
the military occupation of whole towns like Taza or around al Hoceima
and the criminalisation of the workers ‘unions actions. It has become
almost impossible to demonstrate in Morocco now or to demand basic
social or democratic rights. It’s a return to the “lead years”
policies in the name of the restoration of the “State Authority” which
was fragilised by the outburst of the 20th February movement for
social justice, suppression of despotism and which initiated the
social and democratic awakening of a large number of sections of the
Moroccan society.

The government represses and condemns: tens of citizens, militants or
not, are sentenced to prison; young unemployed people in Safi have
been sentenced to thirty-two years of detention. Members of the National
Student Union have been severely tortured. They refute the reasons and
the conditions of their detention and have decided to go on an
unlimited hunger strike to demand their rights and their liberation.

Ezedine Erroussi is a student from Taza. Last December he was arrested
during a demonstration in his university held to ask for better
conditions of the students’ life and was condemned for belonging to an
“unauthorized organization”. His fellows demonstrators Ibrahim Saidi,
Mohamed Galoud, Mohmed Fettal and Mohamed Ezaghdidi were sentenced for
the same reason. Ezedine Erroussi has been detained for more than 90
days. He has become extremely weak and is maintained in complete
isolation. The students arrested in Fès have been detained for more
than sixty days.

The physical condition of the students detained in the Safi prisons is
deteriorating fast. The government and its torturers has chosen to let
them die, counting on the silence of its allied European and American
States who are more interested in protecting their mutual interests
than the rights and liberties of the Moroccan people.

We refuse this complicity. We refuse to remain silent in front of the
programmed death of those who fight for a Moroccan Spring. We demand
that government repression be stopped and we demand the liberation of
all prisoners. We proclaim our total solidarity with the hunger
strikers until their demands are satisfied.

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