Demand Retrial for Tortured Defendants

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Target: King Mohammed VI of Morocco

Goal: Give twenty-five alleged criminals a retrial due to unjust standards of conviction

Twenty-five Sahrawis have been sentenced to prison by the Rabat court in Morocco. Many of these convictions relied primarily on the defendants’ confessions. The issue is, all of these confessions occurred whilst the speaker was being tortured by military personnel.

The convicted men were being “questioned” regarding an event occurring in 2010, in which the military attempted to disassemble a protest camp at the city of Gdeim Izik in the Western Sahara. A battle ensued between the protesters and military officials, resulting in the death of eleven military members and two Sahrawi civilians. While this event was a tragedy, no evidence has been compiled that points to any of these twenty-five men being guilty.

As dictated by Sarah Leah Whitson of Human Rights Watch, “While the loss of life at Gdeim Izik is deplorable, the prosecution failed to establish after 26 months of pretrial detention for most defendants a credible case that they were responsible for the violence. Time and again, we have seen Moroccan prosecutors appear at politically sensitive trials not with physical or witness evidence establishing the guilt of defendants, but mere confessions obtained under questionable circumstances.”

The Moroccan government needs to release these men or grant them a fair trial. Their confessions should be discredited because they were all made under extreme duress due to torture. If the Moroccan government truly is seeking justice for this event, then it needs to let evidence dictate guilt.

Sign below to ask the Moroccan government to either release these men, or provide a fair trial in which justice is guided by hard evidence.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear King Mohammed VI,

The twenty-five men who were recently convicted of crimes committed during the battle at Gdeim Izik need to be either released, or granted a fairer trial. All of their convictions were based upon their own confessions, which were all attained while the men were being tortured. Surely these confessions cannot be the basis of conviction.

If you truly seek justice for the proposed crimes during this horrific event, then evidence should dictate these trials. Therefore, the conviction of these men is unjust and reparations must be made. At the very least, a new trial must take place for each man so that the true criminals are found and brought to justice.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Digital Trends

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105 Signatures

  • James Thrailkill
  • Eric von Borstel
  • Hermann Kastner
  • Frédérique Pommarat
  • Mal Gaff
  • Terrie Phenicie
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