Morocco puts Gdeim Izik prisoners in life danger

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On the 9th of March, 8 Saharawi political prisoners of the Gdeim Izik group in Ait Melloul and Kenitra prisons entered a hunger strike demanding the respect of their basic rights.

On the 8th of March the prison directors of both penitentiaries informed the prisoners that they had a “note de service” an official memo saying that if they would begin a hunger strike they would be put in isolation.

In Ait Melloul prison Sidahmed Lemjeyid and Mbarek Lefkir suspended their hunger strike on the 12th of March after the threats issued by the prison director.

According to information of the families, Mohamed Bani and Brahim Ismaili were put in isolation on the 12th of March without drinkable water, the isolation cells are known as “coffins” and have no windows, the prisoners have to sleep on the floor.

The daughter of Mr. Ismaili denounced that the Regional Director of the Prisons of Agadir and the Prison Director of Ait Melloul 2 told Mr. Ismaili that if he would fall into a coma they would give him an injection to get rid of him definitively and put an end to the troubles.

At 8am of the 9th of March, Sidi Abdallahi Abbahah, El Bachir Boutanguiza, Mohamed Bourial and Abdallahi Lakfawni were brought to isolation cells in Kenitra since they started the hunger strike.

The prison administration only allowed them to have 5 litre of drinking water with them.

The prison doctors must be aware that kidneys need about half a litre per day to minimal properly function, and about 1/2 a litre is lost trough sweat, breathing, defecation etc, at least 1 litre of water per day to survive is needed. According to a paper published by the British Medical Journal: “Average fluid intake needs to be maintained at around 1.5 l/day. Ideally water should be supplemented with up to 1.5 g sodium chloride (half a teaspoon of salt) per day. ”

This, assumes no activity and no excessive sweating from heat or intestinal issues and normal health status, which is not the case, since all detainees of this group have chronicle diseases derived from the ill treatment, tortures and imprisonment conditions they were subjected to since their arrest in 2010.

The prisoners in Kenitra are now in isolation for 5 days in hunger strike, which means that if no additional drinking water, was given to them, the water supply necessary to avoid kidney failure has been used up. In Ait Melloul the two hunger strikers are now without any drinkable water and have only toilet water in the coffin cell which is not drinkable.

Naama Asfari another member of this group, detained in El Arjat prison is in isolation since 12th February and on hunger strike since the 27th of February, but no information about his situation was given to his family or lawyers.

The accounts from the families refer that the all prisoners of this group are very badly treated, are extremely cold, have not enough food and the psychological pressure from the prison personal as well as insults and harassment are a daily fact.

On December 4th Sidi Abdallahi Abbahah and Ahmed Sbaai were put in a minuscule toilet and kept ten days inside with the lights on and ill treated, without being allowed to wash themselves or have medical assistance (although Mr. Sbaai had several Asthma attacks) in midst of vermin and insects.

On December 25th Mbarek Lefkir was beaten until lost of consciousness by the prison guards of Ait Melloul, when he refused to take his university exams naked.

The families are extremely worried especially due the fact that all these prisoners are in a very fragile health situation.

Porunsaharalibre.org contacted Olfa Ouled one of the lawyers of the prisoners who informed us that a fax to the different Moroccan authorities was sent on Friday 9th of March to know the reason for this isolation but did not receive an answer and so far also no information is available on Mr. Asfari, the lawyer declared that hopefully the Moroccan Justice system will intervene and put an end to this serious violations both of the Moroccan Law as well as the International minimum standards.

Mohamed Ayoubi, member of the Gdeim Izik group on provisional release, died in February this year in the hospital of El Aaiun, due to health issues derived from the extreme tortures he was subjected to during and after his arrest in 2010.

Over the past years several Saharawi political prisoners have died in Moroccan prisons due to medical neglect or miss treatment, the Gdeim Izik Group has been targeted since their arrest in 2010 with torture techniques, confinement over 22 hours a day, psychology torture, beatings, harassment and racism.

As stated in a communiqué of the prisoners of Kenitra in November last year the prison administration is responsible for their physical safety.