Benkirane Government Immediate Intervention is a Must Two Years in Prison for a Blogger on Misleading Charges
ANHRI denounced the verdict issued late Thursday 14/6/2012 by jailing the Moroccan blogger Mohamed Sukrat for two years to be carried out with a fine of five thousand dihams (452 euros) on charges of possession and drug trafficking. ANHRI demands the government to interfere to save the future of the young blogger.
“Arresting Sukrat, his brother and his father as a mean of pressure to confess the charges against him and the trial where serious violations of the right to a fair trial, demonstrate a politicized trial that aim at maltreating the opponent blogger,” said ANHR.
Marrakesh Primary Court issued the ruling after his arrest on 29 May in Marrakesh city. His exaggerated quick trial aroused many reactions between the activists and human rights defenders in Morocco who questioned the genuineness of the charges against Sukrat.
Sukrat’s lawyer said that the court refused to listen to the witnesses who might lead to Sukrat’s innocence, and added that he will appeal against the ruling and will provide evidences to prove him innocent.
The Anti-Narcotics Force in its testimony said that it arrested Sukrat with him two pieces of cannabis and another two pieces were found when they searched his house also of the same drug which was denied by Sukrat’s mother in a video broadcasted on youtube. She confirmed that the police didn’t come at all to the house.
It is known that Sukrat is one of the first bloggers in Morocco as he writes in a blog titled “The leader Sukrat’ blog – blogger : non-belonger”. He is famous for his political and human rights activities for public freedoms. He has participated in several meetings about individuals freedoms in Morocco, moreover he is a member in the protesting 20 Feb movement ; the few who attended the meetings of the Royal Commission for the reform of the constitution last year known as “Almnoni Committee”.
ANHRI considered the ruling as a continuation of the fierce campaign carried by the Moroccan authorities recently against bloggers and opponents especially the 20 Feb movements young members. The campaign included:
The famous rapper known as ‘el-hakid’ or ‘the vindicative’ who was sentenced to a year in prison.
The opponent young poet Younes Bil-khadim who was sentenced for two years.
Tarik Hamani who was sentenced for six years in prison last week
the Moroccan blogger Hassan Barhoun, who was detained yesterday after taking pictures\taping a campaign against street vendors in Tetouan city before being released after the intervention of jurists who protested against his arrest and called for his immediate release.
ANHRI demands the immediate release of Mohamed Sukrat from the Moroccan authorities and to re-investigate the charges against him, also to refrain from cracking down on activists and opinion makers in order to express their views freely and safely as guaranteed by all international conventions and treaties.
“We were expecting, after the recent; though inadequate, constitutional amendments and after a freely elected government in the country, that this government will defend the opponents and opinion makers instead of the continuing approach of fabricating charges and dragging opponents to prison” said ANHRI that added “unfortunately, Benkirane government failed to prove their loyalty to the public freedoms or the victory of freedom of opinion and expression, and every government that will follow the same approach will pay a high price at the hands of its citizens”