Moroccan political prisoners spent a quarter century behind bars

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The Moroccan government, on august 14 and 21, released the oldest Moroccan political prisoners a quarter century after they were accused and sentenced for conspiring against the government. This release is welcomed by Moroccan human rights bodies.

A week after Shahid Ahmed’s release from a 25 year prison term, Ahmed Al-Shayeb was also released August 21 after serving the same number of years as political prisoners.

Arrested in 1983 and accused for distributing publications, that Moroccan authorities claimed nicited violence, they were first sentenced to death, before the commutation of the sentence to 25 years making them the oldest political prisoners.

In a comment following his release Ahmed Shahid said “Freedom Day has come after a quarter century of arrest”. He also said that he had turned a new page.

The Moroccan Associations for Human Rights applaud the release of the two prisoners and hope to see other political detainees released. They also regret that the political arrests continue in a country that claims to have closed the black page of opinion and political detentions.

Human rights organisations in Morocco demanded their release on several occasions particularly within the framework of a general amnesty in 1994 and also after the completion of an equity and reconciliation mission. Other international structures concerned with human rights have praised this release of the prisoners.

Bad detention conditions in Morocco have been a focus of several human rights organisations.

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