RIF activists and journalist Mehdaoui sentenced to heavy prison terms

The court of appeal of Casablanca in Morocco has confirmed on Friday evening the prison sentences against RIF activists and among them the leader of protests registered between late 2016 and mid 2017 Naser Zefzafi. It also confirmed the conviction of journalist Hamid Elmehdaoui.

In June 2018, the court of first instance handed down a 20-year prison verdict against Zefzafi, Nabil Ahmijeq, Wassim el Boustani and Samir Aghid. Another 35 activists have been sentenced to sentences of between two and 15 years.

The same court also sentenced journalist Hamid Elmehdaoui to three years in prison, accused of one of the rarest accusations in the history of Moroccan justice, which is not to inform the authorities that some activists wanted to buy Russian tanks to be used in the protest.

The confirmation of sentences  is causing unrest within the families of political detainees and public opinion. Many Moroccans condemned these prison sentences on social networks. among the criticisms is a question that many ask: Why does the judiciary condemn young people for claiming a university and a hospital and still fail to prosecute the corrupt who still occupy key positions within the Moroccan administration?

The protests led by Zefzafi in the RIF region called for the construction of a university, a hospital in conditions as well as job opportunities for young people who are victims of unemployment.

These prison sentences demonstrate the tense atmosphere in the country and the decline in human rights and the end of every dream of a democratic transition.

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