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Hirak Movement: Human Right Watch Denounces Unfair Trial and Use of Torture

In a report released yesterday, the organization Human Rights Watch (HRW) reviewed the progress of the trial of the Hirak movement in Morocco, bringing new evidence proving “serious acts of torture” committed by the Moroccan police against the Rifan activists.

HRW reported that Moroccan justice did not explain why it rejected independent medical reports suggesting that at least a large proportion of the defendants had been tortured and abused by police during or after their arrests.

“A court can not simply ignore evidence of torture”, said Ahmed Benchemsi, director of communication and advocacy for the Middle East and North Africa at Human Rights Watch, saying that “the court of appeal must exclude any suspicious admission, and ensure that no one is sentenced except for real crimes”.

According to the HRW report, forensic doctors mandated by the National Human Rights Council (CNDH), an independent body, have examined 34 Hirak detainees, including 19 from the Casablanca group on 17 and 18 June 2017.

In their medical reports, the doctors wrote that injuries sustained by Hirak detainees had a “high degree of concordance” or “average” with their allegations of police abuse.

But the court had relied on reports of doctors he had himself mandated to inflict heavy sentences on the accused, indignant the international NGO.

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