First Published: 2011-05-16

 

Moroccan MPs back probe into detention centre

 

MPs’ backing comes after ministry of justice decides to open inquiry at headquarters of Moroccan domestic intelligence service, which supposedly runs the Temara detention centre.

 

Middle East Online

RABAT - Members of parliament in Morocco back a parliamentary probe into a secret detention centre near Rabat, a senior politician announced Monday, a day after a demonstration by youths wanting it closed.

"We are favourable to opening a commission of inquiry into this centre, even though no decision has been taken," Ahmed Zaidi, the head of the parliamentary group of the government coalition, the Socialist Union of Popular Forces (USFP), said.

"Among MPs, we are discussing it and exchanging views," he added.

Zaidi's announcement came after the ministry of justice decided to open an inquiry at the headquarters of the Moroccan domestic intelligence service, the DST, which supposedly runs the Temara detention centre.

The justice department "has given instructions to the state prosecutor to open the necessary investigations into the site" close to the capital, Communications Minister Khalid Naciri said, in a statement welcomed by MPs.

"We have already lodged a request for the constitution of a commission of inquiry into this centre. Now, after Mr Naciri's statement, anything becomes possible," said Lahcen Daoudi, head of the parliamentary group of the Islamist opposition Justice and Development Party.

More than 10 people were injured on Sunday when police broke up a demonstration by about 100 youths of the February 20 Movement, named for the date of the first popular uprising to press for change in the north African kingdom.

The protestors wanted to demonstrate outside the headquarters of the DST, denouncing the detention centre believed to be based there and demanding its closure and respect for human rights.

Several non-governmental organisations, including Human Rights Watch (HRW) and Amnesty International, have denounced reported abuses of human rights inside the detention centre.

In a report published on October 25 last year, HRW asserted that people suspected of terrorist offences "are detained in a secret centre near Rabat, and are detained beyond the 12-day legal maximum in custody under the anti-terrorist law" of 2003.

According to HRW, DST agents "participate actively in the incarceration of people suspected of terrorism, their detention and their interrogation."

The HRW report was partly based on interviews conducted with people who had been detained between 2007 and 2010, and with their relatives. It includes a response from the Moroccan government, which HRW welcomed, but Rabat said there was no secret detention centre.

 

Islamic State ‘share in US weapons’ embarrasses Pentagon

Hundreds protest in Iran after horrendous acid attacks

Libya army scores small victory in Benghazi

Masdar to build first large-scale wind farm in GCC

Kasserine reaps bitter harvest from Tunisia revolution: Poverty and terrorism

Turkish woman arrested for stepping on Koran

Erdogan criticises US for airdrops on Kobane

Iraq schools provide shelter but late to open for classes

Syria air force shoots down two of three 'IS warplanes'

Egypt court rules on ‘Nasr City terror cell’

Fire from Egypt wounds two Israeli soldiers near border

By hook or by crook, settlers notch up property gains in East Jerusalem

Turkey envoy meets leader of parallel government in Libya

Israel arrests seven Palestinian fishermen off northern Gaza

Khamenei to Abadi: Iraq can beat 'Islamic State' without foreign troops

Saudi special court rules in cases of riots and terrorism

Only in Libya: Government calls for civil disobedience

Iraq Kurds set to vote on deployment of Peshmerga forces to Syria

Alderton: Morocco unrivalled business gateway to sub-Saharan Africa

Protests over IS turn Istanbul University into war zone

Turkey eyes stricter punishment against lawbreakers at protests

For Sudan President: Promises are something and re-election is something else

Iran returns Abadi to ‘house of obedience’

From traditional military to counterinsurgency force: Syria army grows more capable

South Sudan rivals accept 'responsibility' for civil war

British drones in Iraq also used for Syria surveillance

Turkey launches new wave of wire-tapping arrests

Rise of Shiite militias challenges government authority in Iraq

Syria Kurds show impressive resistance to ‘Islamic State’ in Kobane

Vote or boycott: Grim record of self-serving politicians puts off voters in Tunisia

Egypt universities tighten security to avoid new Islamist violence

Iran forces inside Iraq as Abadi rules out foreign ground intervention!

South Sudan rivals meet in new bid to end civil war

From Morocco into Spain: Crowd of African migrants charges to border fence

Deadly suicide attack targets Shiite mosque in central Baghdad

Turkey gives Iraq Peshmerga forces passage to Kobane

Israel to supply Egypt with natural gas despite sabotage

Kerry seeks help of Southeast Asia in anti-Islamic State push

Qaeda inflicts heavy losses on Huthi rebels in central Yemen

US carries out first weapon airdrops to Kurd fighters near Kobane

Benghazi violence kills 75 people in five days

Morocco accuses Algeria of firing on civilians across border

Australia finalises deal for deployment of Special Forces to Iraq

Tunisia calls on Libya authorities to locate missing journalists

Turkey rejects calls to arm ‘terrorist’ Kurdish party in Syria