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.

 

Iraq Kurds start voting in historic independence referendum

Erdogan threatens Iraqi Kurds with border closure, oil block

US-led strikes killed 84 civilians near Syria's Raqa

Iran shuts border with Iraqi Kurdistan

Dubai set to become first city with flying taxis

UAE announces plans for region’s first nuclear reactor

Putin to visit Erdogan this week for Syria, Iraq talks

Sudan vows to step up efforts to improve US ties

Turkey to launch intervention into Syria — and maybe into Iraq

Egyptian ‘world’s heaviest woman’ dies in Abu Dhabi

Palestinian unity government remains unlikely

Emirati man fights his employer to serve in country’s army

Palestinian PM to visit Gaza next week

Saudi advisory body to tackle female driving ban

Turkey denies closing Iraqi border in response to Kurdish vote

US air strikes kill 17 Islamic State militants in Libya

Yemen's Hadi says military solution 'most likely'

The high cost of Syria’s destruction

Palestinian negotiator awaits lung transplant in US

Kurds ready for contentious vote in Iraq

A Kurdish state: Reality or utopia?

Saudi intercepts missile fired from Yemen

Saudi Arabia marks national day with fireworks, concerts

Iran defies US, tests missile

Turkey warns of 'security' steps in response to Iraqi Kurd vote

Barzani delays Kurdish independence vote announcement

Syria's war off the radar at UN assembly

For many Iraqis, tradition trumps police

Darfur clashes kill 3 as Bashir urges reconciliation

Saudi cleric banned for saying women have ‘quarter’ brain

Veteran Syrian activist, daughter assassinated in Istanbul

Tunisia drops forced anal exams for homosexuality

Bomb used in Saudi-led strike on Yemen children US-made

Syria Kurds vote to cement federal push

Police charge teenager over London Underground attack

Nigerian official to meet Turkish counterpart over illegal guns

Thousands feared trapped in Raqa as IS mounts last stand

Iraqi forces achieve first step in new offensive on IS

Migrant boat sinks off Turkish Black Sea coast leaving four dead, 20 missing

Trump praises 'friend' Erdogan

Yemen leader promises UN to open entire country to aid

Rouhani vows Iran will boost missiles despite US criticism

Russia clashes with EU over Syria

UN Security Council warns against holding Iraqi Kurd vote

UN sets up probe of IS war crimes in Iraq