Morocco – « No evidence of torture » on Rif detainees but some disciplinary cells were in « bad conditions » (Report)

No trace of torture was found on detainees of the Al-Hoceima events who were transferred from Ras Al Ma prison to other penal institutions, said on Wednesday the National Human Rights Council (CNDH) after on-site visits.

In a statement, the CNDH affirmed that the six inmates transferred from Ras Al Ma prison (Fes) to Tifelt 2, Toulal 2 (Meknes), Ain Aicha (Taounate), Taza and Guercif prisons were subjected to a medical examination on arrival, with the exception of one case.

During the visits to Toulal 2 and Ain Aicha prisons, the CNDH delegation was able to note “the deplorable state of the disciplinary cells, which have neither lighting nor ventilation, in contradiction with provision 13 of the United Nations Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners”.

“Some detainees have reported that they have started a hunger strike since their transfer to the disciplinary cells,” the Council underlined, adding that “according to verified information, this hunger strike has been stopped”.

The CNDH stressed that it had visited the disciplinary cells of the six detainees as well as the infirmary premises, and met for one to two hours with each detainee, after obtaining their informed consent, and on an individual basis in places that guarantee confidentiality.

The Council was also able to investigate allegations of torture and ill-treatment reported by family members and the press, conduct a systematic medical examination of all detainees concerned, view surveillance camera footage at the time of the incident and interview the relevant prison officials.

But the CNDH report underlined that some « disciplinary cells » at the prisons of Toulal 2 and Aïn Aicha were in bad conditions as they had « no lights » neither aeration and the prison management did not respect the minimum détention conditions required by the United Nations convention.

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