The family and lawyer of imprisoned Sahrawi activist Mohamed Lamine Haddi have not heard from him since April 9, 2021 when he called them each to tell them that the prison authorities had threatened to put him in “cachot”, a small, dungeon-like cell, if his family did not stop publically calling for his release. Mohamed Lamine Haddi has been held in solitary confinement in Tiflet II prison, Rabat, since 2017, when he was sentenced to 25 years in the unfair “Gdeim Izik” mass trial. His health deteriorated significantly following his 69-day hunger strike in protest of his ill-treatment in January 2021.
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Head of Government of the Kingdom of Morocco
Mr.Saad Eddine el Othmani
Palais Royal- Touarga
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 incommunicado detention of Sahrawi activist Mohamed Lamine Haddi
held in Tiflet II prison in Rabat, Morocco.
Mohamed Lamine Haddi’s lawyer and family have not heard from him since April 9, 2021 when he called to inform them that the prison director of Tiflet II had threatened to put him in a small, dungeon-like cell, if his family continued to publicise his case. According to his lawyer, the prison authorities previously detained Mohamed Lamine Haddi in such a cell in 2018 as punishment. His lawyer described the cell as a small room of 2m² with no window, tap nor toilet. It is known as the “punishment cell” or “coffin” because it is the same size. Since April 9, 2021 his family called the King’s prosecutor and the prison director several times, with no response. Mohamed Lamine Haddi’s lawyer and family both called the prison separately on June 1, 2021 and the phone was hung-up on them at the mention of Mohamed Lamine Haddi’s name.
Mohamed Lamine Haddi’s health has been deteriorating since his 69-day hunger strike in January demanding an end to his ill-treatment. On March 23, 2021 he told his family that prison guards ended his hunger strike by force-feeding him, that he did not receive any medical care during his hunger strike and that he was suffering partial paralysis, trembling, memory loss and severe pain. His lawyer is concerned that the lack of news from him since April indicates the worsening of his health. Since September 17, 2017, the authorities have held Mohamed Lamine Haddi and other Gdeim Izik prisoners in solitary confinement in Tiflet II prison. Mohamed Lamine Haddi is confined alone in his cell for at least 23 hours per day, with no contact with other inmates. Family visits have been banned since March 2020, due to COVID restrictions.
In light of the above, I urge you to end the solitary confinement of Mohamed Lamine Haddi, grant him immediate access to adequate medical care and ensure that his detention conditions conform to international standards. I also urge you to ensure that he has regular access to his family and lawyers, and in keeping with the Mandela Rules which provides in Rule 59 that prisoners shall be allocated, to the extent possible, to prisons close to their homes, to grant the transfer of Mohamed Lamine Haddi and the other Gdeim Izik prisoners to El-Ayoun to be closer to their families. Finally, I urge you to hold a fair retrial for Mohamed Lamine Haddi and the other Gdeim Izik prisoners in line with international standards.