On the day of the sacrificial feast, a prisoner in the hospital in Larache died as a result of a hunger strike that lasted 50 days, said Achkayen.
The prisoner was sentenced to six years’ imprisonment for trafficking in hard drugs. The victim insisted that he was innocent, demanded the reopening of the investigation and a confrontation with the person who accused him.However, the victim’s demand was not met.
When his body collapsed as a result of the hunger strike, he was taken to the hospital in Larache where he died.
The legal system in Morocco is corrupt and many innocent people are being put and kept in prison. The EU ‘grants’ millions of euros a year to the Moroccan regime to ‘improve’ the judicial system. King Mohamed VI is also the president of the ‘High Judicial Council’, and the Moroccan constitution also calls him the ‘guarantee of the independence of the judiciary’.
You Might also like
In the middle of the Cold War between the major superpowers at that time, the US and the USSR (1), and during the war in western Morocco between Polisario and Morocco, a revolt flared up in 1984 in all of Morocco. The outbursts of protests were related to the poor economic situation. The cost of the war in Western Sahara had risen to around $ 3 million a day. The external debt had risen to around $ 12 billion at the end of 1983, corresponding to 85% of the country’s GNP (2), while according to international statistics the GDP per capita was below $ 900 a year. Around 20% of the population were unemployed. Morocco had more than 20 million inhabitants in 1984.
On 19 September 1983, Morocco concluded the fourth stabilization agreement with the IMF (3) since 1978, under which it undertook to reduce subsidies on food items. On the basis of this agreement, the IMF approved a stand-by credit of approximately $ 315 million for Morocco, but this was subsequently suspended because the Moroccan government had not applied the austerity measures sufficiently.
The “Club of Paris” (4) with 12 western industrialized countries granted Morocco a deferred payment on October 26 for an amount of $ 600 million in interest and loan repayment. The amount was converted into a loan with a term of 8 years, the first four years of which would be free of repayment. On November 3, the World Bank (5) and the 12 countries declared their willingness to grant new loans worth $ 535 million to Morocco, the share of the World Bank being $ 150.4 million.
At the beginning of January 1984, demonstrations against the price increases took place in Marrakech, Meknes, Safi and Oujda. According to press releases, serious riots had occurred in Marrakech from 8 to 10 January. Army units from Western Sahara are said to have been deployed to restore order.
News service Reuters reported from Madrid on January 20 that violence had occurred a few days earlier in Al Hoceima and that police and military constellations were involved around and in high schools in the capital Rabat after riots on January 19 in which mostly students were victims.
In the northeastern city of Nador, in particular, there were alleged clashes between protesting students and the police on 19 January, in which 2 students were killed and more than 50 injured. The riots spread to Al Hoceima, Tetouan and Ksar Al Kebir and lasted until January 21. The Moroccan authorities and media initially did not provide any information. Various foreign journalists in Tetouan were deported and journalists who wanted to visit Melilla and Ceuta Morocco from the Spanish enclaves were not admitted.
The regime sent to Nador tanks and soldiers from the cities of Taza and Oujda as reinforcements. The streets of Nador were besieged and the inhabitants could not leave their house for days without running the risk of being arrested or executed at their doorstep. During these days, students and unsuspecting citizens of Nador were arrested on the street, abused and imprisoned or executed for years and taken to a mass grave. An eyewitness said that one of the people arrested by two soldiers was being lifted and dropped him on his back on a piece of rock. A short time later he died.
Eyewitnesses reported that in the port city of Al Hoceima the head of a cafe visitor was pierced by a bullet. His brain is shattered on the wall. Those present got the shock of their lives and suffered a trauma.
According to a FAZ report (6) from Madrid on 22 January, more than 150 people were killed in the riots suppressed by the police and the army, mainly because of soldiers who would have shot at the demonstrators with machine guns. That same evening, King Hassan II delivered a radio and television speech to the nation – the first official mention of the riots – in which he announced the cancellation of the price increases. He came to his decision after the capitalization he ordered had shown that 40% of the Moroccan population lived below the poverty line, according to the World Bank this was even 42%.
On 24 January 1984, when peace seemed to have returned to Morocco, 2 Moroccan organizations in France (the AMF and ATMF (7)) reported that more than 400 people had died in the riots. Diplomatic circles then reported about 60 deaths. MAP published the first official figures on January 25: 29 dead and 114 wounded (including 26 members of the security forces).
On January 28, there were about 100 detainees among USFP members (8), mainly from the party’s youth movement. On 1 February, Spanish newspapers reported that more than 500 arrests had been made in Nador and the surrounding area, especially among students. They are said to have been taken to the Kenitra military prison to be tried by military tribunals. The Observer (12/2/1984) estimated the total number of detainees at 5,000.
The heaviest punishments were pronounced by the tribunal in Nador in trials behind closed doors. On February 29, the same Observer reported that after pronouncing 175 new judgments (up to a maximum of 5 years in prison), the number of people convicted of the riots had risen to 700. At the beginning of March, the PPS (9) announced that 66 students, including 2 members of the PPS and three of the USFP, from Agadir had been sentenced to prison terms ranging from 6 months to 2 years.
Le Monde reported on March 16 that, according to the authorities, around 1,800 people were imprisoned for riots, while the opposition spoke of 1,550 prisoners. On 18 April MAP (10) reported that the majority of 1,800 detainees in 13 different cities had since been sentenced to prison terms ranging from 2 months to 10 years and to fines of 200 to 20,000 Dirhams. At the same time, MAP announced that the Oujda Tribunal had sentenced one of the defendants to 15 years in prison, the most difficult sentence up to that point.
Le Monde of 30 May wrote that approximately 1,000 of the approximately 1,500 arrested had since been sentenced.
On April 28, 2008 a mass grave was discovered “by accident” near the Tawima military barracks just outside Nador. There were 16 bodies in the mass grave, which at the time were victims of the Moroccan regime. The bodies were transferred to the Al Hassani hospital in Nador for DNA testing. It is unclear whether these are victims of the student demonstration in 1984 or of the Riffin rebellion during the years 1956-1959. There would be several mass graves from both years.
After the appointment of the current King Mohamed VI in 1999, the so-called Reconciliation Commission was established the Instance Équité et Réconciliation (IER), with the aim of reconciling the regime and the Moroccan people for the crimes committed by the state during the period 1956–1999.
This commission was set up with a Royal Decree of Mohamed VI to send a signal to the people that he “distances himself” from state crimes under the reign of his grandfather, Mohamed V and his father Hassan II. The new monarch wants to start with a clean slate.
The committee has issued a final report containing the recommendation to respect human rights.
The treatment of the more than 500 detainees of the Riffine People’s Movement in 2017 proves that nothing has changed in Morocco. Torture, threatening with rape are the usual practices at the Moroccan police stations. King Mohamed VI praised his policemen in his 2017 speech after the people had hoped for the prisoners’ grace and investigation after the gross violation of human rights.
Most of the article has been copied from this website: http://www.ethesis.net/marokko/marokko_deel_I_hfst_5_6.htm
Information on the website has also been used: www.amazigh.nl
(1) USSR Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, Federation of Republics during the Communist period of Russia between 1922 and 1991, which was in ideological and power struggle with the USA at world level.
(2) GNP gross national product, The total value added of all goods and services in a given period, usually one year.
(3) IMF The International Monetary Fund, A UN organization for international monetary cooperation, financial crisis relief and credit for states with payment problems.
(4) The Paris Club, an international informal group of countries that mediates between lenders and countries that have little or no ability to repay loans.
(5) World Bank, An international financing institution providing loans, credits, guarantees and technical assistance to developing countries and countries in transition.
(6) FAZ De Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, a national German newspaper.
(7) ATMF Association des Travailleurs Maghrébins de France, Association of Moroccan Workers in France.
(8) MAP Maghreb Arab Press, Moroccan State Press Agency.
(9) USFP Union Socialiste des Forces Populaires, Moroccan socialist party.
(10) PPS Parti du Progrès et du Socialisme, Moroccan socialist party.
Translated by: Najat M.
When Spain and France divided Morocco in 1906 during the Algeciras Convention and the Rif was occupied by Spain, the Riffians immediately came into resistance. This resistance was led by Mohamed Ameziane. Under his leadership the resistance culminated in the first Rif war. Who was this man?
Mohammed Ameziane, better known as Muḥand Ameẓyan is one of the first Riffian resistance fighters during the Spanish occupation of the Rif. Ameziane means ‘small’ (*) in the Rif Language. According to tradition he was born around 1860. He attended the Koranic school in his native village Azghenghan, after which he studied at the Al-Qaraouiyin mosque in Fez.
Ammeziane was a cattle trader in the Rif, but also worked in the then French colony of Algeria, like many other Riffian seasonal workers. He was known as an honest and helpful man. People who knew him described him as intelligent and as someone who loved his country. He had a good reputation among the Rif tribes. People asked him for advice and help in case of disputes, which he said he often managed to solve.
Around 1902 a Moroccan rebel named Jilali ben Driss Zirhouni al-Youssefi alias ‘Bu Hmara’ managed to bring part of the Rif under his control. At that time he sold Rif mines and raw materials from the Rif to France and Spain. In order to exploit the mines and build railway lines, Spain annexed areas in the vicinity of Melilla, a Rif city that had been in Spanish possession since 1497. Ameziane was one of the first to unmask Bu Hmara’s evil practices and collaboration with the European settlers. He therefore fiercely campaigned against Bu Hmara among the Rif tribes.
In 1909, a Riffian delegation led by Ameziane visited Sultan in Fez (then residence of the sultan) with the request to support the resistance against the Spanish expansion in the Rif. The Moroccan and Alawite Sultan refused to respond. Ameziane decided to organize the resistance himself and managed to unite several Rif tribes to defend their country. This resulted in a direct confrontation with Spain.
Mohammed Ameziane resisted the Spanish invasion and rejected attempts at bribery by Melilla general José Marina Vega’s military director.
On 27 June 1909 a number of Riffian chiefs met to discuss how they could prevent the construction of the Spanish railway line connecting the mountains of Iysan and Iharchwen with the city of Melilla.
This led to the Rif tribes, led by Mohamed Ameziene, fighting Bu Hmara and overcoming him in 1909 when he and his men fled the Rif.
Subsequently, on 9 July 1909, Ameziane gave the order to attack the troops guarding the construction of the Spanish railway line in the Rif. This battle, which lasted until July 27th of the same year, and became one of the greatest Ameziane fought, was called Aghazar Ouchen (Wolves River) by the Riffians. Spain lost many troops during this battle, including General Guillermo Pintos Ledesma. This battle is known in Spanish history as Desastre del Barranco del Lobo.
Spain sent a new army consisting of more than 4000 soldiers and three generals to the Rif. This led to a new battle with the troops of Ameziane, which, according to stories, no longer consisted of 1500 people. This battle took place on 20 September 1909 at Ijeddayen in the area of the tribe Ayt Chichar. Also this battle was lost by the Spanish army. The Riffian warriors managed to capture a lot of weapons and ammunition during this battle.
The Riffian resistance could win these battles because it was well organized, the tribes made a number of their men available to provide the resistance with fighters permanently. They were free to decide if and how they wanted to organize themselves, which and how many men they wanted to make available and possibly replace and/or supply ammunition.
The different tribes and their fighters were able to warn each other of hostile troop movements by lighting fires on the higher mountain tops. Because of these signals, the alternating firing of fires, they were quickly aware of a possible hostile attack and the troops were quickly on the spot to repel it.
Ameziane fought several battles against Spain in which he inflicted enormous losses on the Spanish army. They suffered loss of men, which also killed senior Spanish officers with a rank of colonel and general, but also enormous material losses.
In 1912 this came to an end. On 15 May 1912 he was killed by a unit of Regulares in the region of Ayt Sidal. The Spaniards brought his corpse to Melilla, where it was exhibited as a spoils of war; on the way it was shown to the Riffians to deter them. He was buried in his hometown Azghenghan in the Rif.
* Due to the name Muhammad being used many times in Rif families after the Arabization of North Africa from the 7th century, they add Ameziane (small) or Ameqrane to the names of Muhammad to distinguish them from each other.
Source: Amazigh Informatie Centrum
Translation: Najat M.
The Moroccan army committed a failed coup on July 10, 1971 against the king in the palace of Skhirat. The following year Air Force officers conducted a new coup, this time the plane of King Hassan II, on the return trip from France, was attacked in the air by fighter jets.
In the near future, the Amazigh Information Centum will publish more short articles on this historical event. We will do this by means of testimonies of persons who were present during this incident, such as the fighter pilot Salah Hachad or referencing books of critical authors such as Gilles Perrault, Stephen Smith or various newspaper articles.
Riffian group of friends in Kenitra
In addition to Louafi Kouera, Lieutenant Colonel Amekrane also had a friend in Kenitra, the physician Omar el Khattabi (1926–2006) nephew of the Riffian resistance hero Mohamed ben Abdelkrim el Khattabi (1882–1962). He had a clinic in Kenitra and got to know Amekrane in 1969. Amekrane and Kouera regularly visited him. Omar el Khattabi visited his friend Amekrane on the military base of Kenitra. In this city they were called the “Riffian group”, referring to the area where they all came from. After the unsuccessful coup of 1972, the friendship of Omar el Khattabi with Lt. Col. Amekrane will have very serious consequences for the Riffian doctor.
General Oufkir asked King Hassan II to promote Lt. Col. Amekrane as deputy commander of the Moroccan Air Force, commanded by Col. Hassan Lyoussi. Two months before the coup attempt took place, Lt. Col. Amekrane was promoted to deputy commander of the Moroccan Air Force. Major Kouera succeeded him as commander of the Kenitra airbase and Captain Salah Hachad became the deputy commander of the airbase.
Translated by: Najat M.