Moroccan military court to try Saharawi activist

image of the group of Gdeim Izik political prisoners

On Friday, 29th November 2013, Saharawi political prisoner M’barek Daoudi was, unexpectedly, presented to the General Crown Prosecutor at the Permanent Court of the Royal Armed Forces in Rabat, where the 30th January 2014 was fixed as the date for his trial. According to the ‘Saharawi League to protect prisoners’, Daoudi’s lawyer was not present, and the court appointed a different lawyer to provide legal assistance.

On 28th September 2013, the Moroccan judicial police had appeared at Mbarek’s home at El Kharchi Street, in the centre of Guelmim, and arrested him together with his 17-year-old son. Both of them were then taken to the house of Daoudi’s father in Legsabi, 10km from the centre of Guelmim, where police officers ‘found’ a weapon from the war against the French in 1936. According to Hassan Daoudi, Mbarek’s brother, the possession of this firearm was the official reason why Mbarek was arrested.
Despite the Moroccan authorities’ promise not to try civilians in a military court, following a series criticisms by human rights organisations, particularly after the trial of the Gdeim Izik group, this case demonstrates that unfortunately, the Moroccan authorities are not keeping to their commitment.
By Sidi Ahmed Fadel  (ADALAUK)

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