João de Sousa

Sexta-feira, Julho 12, 2024

Prison director threatens political prisoner with death

Isabel Lourenço
Isabel Lourenço
Observadora Internacional e colaboradora de porunsaharalibre.org

Haddi Saharawi political prison on hunger strike for 45 days threatened with death by Prison Director.

Mr. Haddi, a Saharawi political prisoner from the Gdeim Izik Group is today in hIs 44th day of hunger strike which he started last January 13th in Tifet2 prison in Morocco.

Today the family of Mr. Haddi in a short phone call was informed by the political prisoner that the Prison director had come to his cell accompanied by 5 staff members and told him “Nobody knows about your situation and nobody knows that you are on a hunger strike. So you have to stop the strike or you will die here, we know how to take care of it.”

Mr. Haddi who demanded a transfer to a prison nearer to his family and the end of the continuous ill-treatment and prolonged solitary confinement changed his demands after the statement of the Prison Director.

Mr. Haddi will now continue his hunger strike until death or the release of all the prisoners of the Gdeim Izik Group.

The family makes an urgent appeal for a visit by his laywer and International Organizations to Tiflet2 prison.

His Lawyer Maitre Ouled has been expelled from Morocco and has so far not been given authorization to visit her clients albeit the requests presented.

No international organization, namely the International Committee of the Red Cross has ever visited the Saharawi political prisoners of the Gdeim Izik group, neither did Amnesty International or Human Rights Watch.

Morocco has so far also not heeded neither the opinion issued by the Working Group of Arbitrary Detention in 2013 nor the interim measures issued by the Committee against torture reffering to this group.

Mr. Haddi is near to death and the statement that the Prison was not aware of his hunger strike is a lie as can be verified by the facts below:

  • Without medical assistance during the entire strike, in which all Moroccan authorities were officially informed by their lawyer Maître Olfa Ouled last who has sent a complaint to the prosecutor of the King last 16th of January, with copies to the DGAPR (Moroccan General Delegation of the Penitentiaries and Reinsertion Administration) and the CNDH(Moroccan National Human Rights Council) which also acts as “national mechanism for prevention of torture” and the Moroccan Ministry of Justice.
  • The complaint sent by Maître Ouled to the prosecutor of Khemisset to ask for an investigation and the respect of the law notably for a prisoner who is on hunger strike was also sent to the director of Tiflet prison. The prosecutor received the complaint on the 2nd of February according to the acknowledgment of receipt that was returned to Maître Ouled by the Postal services.
  • On the 19th of January, Mr. Haddi was visited by a representative of the DGAPR whom Haddi transmitted that he refused to stop the hunger strike until he is in another prison and nearer to his family.
  • On the 8th of February Mr. Haddi was visited in the afternoon by a nurse from the prison.
  • The Nurse started to menace Mr. Haddi saying that if he wouldn’t stop the hunger strike he would be sent to the “Kacho” isolation/punishment cell although Mr. Haddi is in prolonged solitary confinement since 2017. The “Kacho” is feared by all prisoners in Moroccan prisons, as it is a tiny space without ventilation that resembles a box or a coffin.
  • The menace transformed itself into a death threat when the Nurse added that if Mr. Haddi doesn’t stop his hunger strike the prison administration will not allow him to have water and withdraw the water bottles that he has in his cell.
  • Furthermore, the Nurse said that the prison had no knowledge of the hunger strike and that Mr. Haddi should request a “meeting” with the Tiflet2 prison administration to inform them and consequently ask for a doctor’s appointment.
  • In February the information regarding Mr. Haddi’s hunger strike was also transmitted to the Moroccan representation in Geneva by the UN Committee against Torture.

According to medical studies on Hunger strike and its physical impact after more than a month of fasting, or when more than 18 percent of body weight is lost, severe and permanent medical complications can occur. It can become very difficult to swallow water, hearing and vision loss can occur, breathing can become labored and organ failure can start to set in.

Beyond 45 days, death is a very real risk, due to cardiovascular collapse or severe infection.

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