In Morocco, historian Maati Monjib begins hunger strike in prison

Maati Monjib on October 14, 2015 in Rabat.  REUTERS / Stringer - RTS4LQC

Moroccan historian and human rights activist Maati Monjib began a hunger strike on Thursday, March 4, in his cell in Al Arjat prison, near Rabat, in order to express “His distress” face “To persecution” and the « injustice » of which he claims to be a victim because of his “Human rights defense activities”. Mr. Monjib, 61, was sentenced on January 27 by the Rabat court of first instance to one year in prison and a fine of 15,000 dirhams (1,400 euros) for “Attack on the security of the State” and “Scam” in a file dating back to 2015.

The General Directorate for Prison Administration and Reintegration (DGAPR) denied on Friday “False allegations” on this hunger strike but the support committee of Maati Monjib “Confirm” information. The historian critical of power is one of the targets, alongside journalists Omar Radi, Soulaiman Raissouni and Taoufik Bouachrine, of a regular offensive by the Moroccan authorities against defenders of freedom of expression in Morocco.

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Hearings postponed twenty times

In his “Call” launched from his cell, Mr. Monjib, professor and researcher at the Institute of African Studies at Mohamed V University in Rabat, asserts himself “Totally innocent” of “Spurious accusations” to which he is the subject through two separate legal proceedings. As early as 2015, he had been prosecuted for “Attack on the internal security of the State” and “Scam” with six other journalists and freedom of expression activists questioned for their activities within the Moroccan Association for Investigative Journalism (AMJI).

The trial hearings will be subject to twenty postponements to finally end in the conviction of January 27, which Mr. Monjib could not even attend because he was summoned at the same time before an investigating judge for a second case, linked this time to the incrimination of “Money laundering”. It is precisely this second case that motivated his arrest on December 29 at the exit of a restaurant in Rabat by eight plainclothes officers out of two vehicles. “This arbitrary arrest aimed to condemn me [dans la première affaire] in my absence so that I cannot defend myself ”, he denounces in his appeal.

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