On March 15, 17, 18, and 21, 2022, five prison guards entered the cell of Sahrawi activist Mohamed Lamine Haddi, beat him with batons and cut his beard against his will. This came after he declared his intention to go on hunger strike to protest his prison conditions and denial of medical attention. Visits by his lawyer and family have been banned since March 2020. He has been held in solitary confinement since 2017, when he was sentenced to 25 years imprisonment in the unfair “Gdeim Izik” mass trial.
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Head of Government of the Kingdom of Morocco
M. Aziz Akhannouch
Palais Royal- Touarga
/ Facebook: @cg.gov.ma
Her Highness Princess Lalla Joumala
Embassy of the Kingdom of Morocco
3508 International Drive NW
Washington, DC 20008
Phone: 202 462 7979 I Fax: 202 462 7643
Email: [email protected]
Salutation: Your Highness
I am writing to express my grave concern about the ill-treatment in detention of Sahrawi activist Mohamed Lamine Haddi
. He told his family in a phone call that on March 15, 2022, five prison guards entered his cell and beat him with batons and used metal pliers to cut his beard against his will. He had announced to the prison guards the previous day that he planned to do a hunger strike on March 16 and 17 to protest his prison conditions and the denial of a medical visit, despite repeated demands, and said that if his demands were still not met, then he intended to go on indefinite hunger strike from March 18. The beating of Mohamed Lamine Haddi, in what appears to be retaliation for his planned hunger strike, is a violation of his right to freedom of expression, as well as ill-treatment against a detainee. The authorities should not use measures to punish hunger strikers or to coerce them to end a hunger strike.
In a phone call to his family on March 21, Mohamed Lamine Haddi said that the guards returned to his cell on March 17, 18 and 21, and beat him again with batons. He has a hematoma on the left side of his face from where the guards beat him, and prison guards have refused his requests to see a doctor and to have medicine for his serious digestive problem. He told the prison guards on March 21, that he wanted to make a complaint to the King’s Prosecutor about the guards’ ill-treatment towards him. The guards said that they would not lodge his complaint and beat him. The phone-call to his family on March 21, 2022, lasted a total of four minutes as the guards cut-off the call twice; according to his sister, whenever he begins to tell his family about his ill-treatment by the guards, they cut the phone-line.
Since September 17, 2017, the authorities have held Mohamed Lamine Haddi and other Gdeim Izik prisoners in solitary confinement. He is confined alone in his cell for 24 hours per day, with no contact with other inmates. Visits by his lawyer, Olfa Ouled, and family have been banned since March 2020.
I urge you to end the ill-treatment of Mohamed Lamine Haddi, holding accountable all those responsible, and to remove him from solitary confinement. I also urge you to grant him immediate access to adequate medical care, regular and unfettered access to his family and lawyer and ensure that his detention conditions conform to international law and standards. Finally, I urge you to take all measures in order for a fair retrial for Mohamed Lamine Haddi and other Gdeim Izik prisoners to take place soon before an ordinary civilian court, in line with international law.