SPAIN AWARDS MOROCCAN TORTURER
– Abdellatif Hammouchi was denounced in France for torture of the Saharawi political prisoner Naama Asfari, sentenced to 30 years in prison.
– The UN Committee against Torture established that Morocco tortured Naama Asfari.
Hammouchi is also accused of torturing several other political prisoners of the Gdeim Izik Group.
– The Spanish Government of the Partido Popular had already granted Hammouchi the Police Merit Cross with a red badge, the highest distinction for the members of the State Security Forces.
– Now the Spanish Minister of the Interior also honors the Chief of the Royal Gendarmerie of Morocco.
Alfonso Lafarga.- Contramutis .-Interior Minister Fernando Grande-Marlaska has awarded the Grand Cross of the Order of Merit of the Civil Guard to the highest anti-terrorist chief in Morocco, Abdellatif Hammouchi, denounced in France for torture of the political prisoner Saharawi Naama Asfari.
The same award granted to Hammouchi, General Director of Territory Security (DGST), responsible for the fight against terrorism, and General Director of National Security (DGSN), has also been granted to the Army Corps General, Commander In Chief of the Royal Gendarmerie of Morocco, Mohammed Haramou. Both decorations were agreed in the Council of Ministers on September 20, 2019 and published in the Official State Gazette on the 23rd.
This is the second time that Abdellatif Hammouchi is rewarded in Spain: the previous one was being Minister of the Interior with the Government of the Popular Party Jorge Fernández Díaz. In October 2014, the Police Merit Cross was imposed in Madrid with a red badge, the highest decoration of the Spanish State for the agents of the State Security Forces and Corps, in recognition of the collaboration of the Moroccan police with the Corps National Police in the fight against jihadist terrorism.
This second award was granted to the head of the Moroccan police services while in France a procedure was followed against him for allegations of torture of the Saharawi political prisoner Naama Asfari, married to the French citizen Claude Mangin, and the Franco-Moroccan citizen Adil Lamtalsi, who lives in France.
On February 20, 2014, Hammouchi was in Paris when agents of the French judicial police, sent by a judge, appeared at the residence of the Moroccan ambassador to take him to testify regarding the allegations of torture of Naama Asfari and Adil Lamtalsi , presented by the Association of Christians for the Abolition of Torture (ACAT) of France.
Hammouchi refused to go and claimed that he was in a diplomatic residence, a building with extraterritoriality. As a result, the judicial collaboration between Rabat and Paris was frozen for a year, but in the end “France ended up giving up without a doubt: in June 2015, the National Assembly approved a judicial cooperation agreement whereby the complaints filed in France against Moroccan citizens accused of committing crimes in Morocco will be sent with priority to Morocco, even if the victims are French, ” according to the El País correspondent in Rabat.
He added the information that “several French lawyers indicated that this meant twisting the arm of French justice. Amnesty International or Human Rights Watch denounced that the agreement favored the impunity of Moroccan officials accused of serious human rights violations. But the reverse of France was not there. In February 2015, France announced that it decorated Hammouchi with the order of Officer of the Legion of Honor, a step higher than the Knight’s order, which was already granted in 2011 “.
The Saharawi political prisoner Naama Asfari was arrested in November 2010 and sentenced to 30 years in jail based on confessions signed under torture for his participation in the Gdeim Izik protest camp, according to the complaint made then. He has suffered harassment, torture and periods of isolation to the point that in December 2016 the UN Committee against Torture established that Morocco had tortured Naama and expressly requested that there be no reprisals against him or his family.
However, the pressure has continued both against him and his family and Claude Mangin was prevented from entering Morocco when she intended to visit her husband in Kenitra prison, 1200 kilometers from El Aaiún, so in April 2018. Mangin was a month on hunger strike at the City Hall of Ivry-sur-Seine, where she lives, near Paris.
The first award in Spain to the Moroccan Security Director provoked harsh criticism and parliamentary questions to Minister Jorge Fernández Díaz by several deputies. Gaspar Llamazares, from IU, regretted that while France was chasing Hammouchi for torture, the Spanish Government decorated him.