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.

 

Campaigning opens for Tunisia presidential election

Peshmerga forces take up arms against ‘Islamic State’ from Kobane

Huthi-Brotherhood conflict cements deep divisions in Yemen

Jihadists flock to fight on ‘unprecedented scale’

Global campaign to end female genital mutilation kicks off

US to examine troops exposed to chemicals in Iraq

African Union hits back at Somalia rape claims

New scare in Turkey as ‘suspect packages’ found

‘Insults against Netanyahu’ cause embarrassment to US

Kuwait online activist gets four years in jail for insulting judges

Heavy fighting in South Sudan sparks fears of humanitarian catastrophe

Sweden officially recognises State of Palestine

Egypt jails retired general for damaging national security

Syria accuses Turkey of ‘flagrant violation of sovereignty’

Horse-trading begins as Tunisia awaits formation of new government

UK court says Libyan Abdul-Hakim Belhaj can sue over rendition

Israel closes al-Aqsa mosque to worshipers in rare move

Gaza civil servants receive delayed salaries

After US criticism, Israel vows no concessions to Palestinians

Libya internationally recognised PM opens doors of dialogue with rivals

Huthi rebels seize stronghold of Muslim Brotherhood in central Yemen

Will Nidaa Tounes shun Islamists in Tunisia government formation?

Egypt starts work on buffer zone along border with Gaza

Turkey Sultan unveils new palace: Another break with symbols of secular state

Heavy toll as ‘Islamic State’ fights for control of Syria oil field

Iran President suffers fresh setback with rejection of Science Minister

Nuclear deal or no deal: ‘Red lines’ lay bare internal divisions in Iran

Heavy security in Mogadishu as UN chief meets Somalia president

Fighters from Free Syrian Army leave Turkey to join Kobane battle

Israel denies banning Palestinians sharing buses

Kurd fighters leave northern Iraq base for Syria deployment

Jordan requests UN emergency meeting over Israel settler expansion

Jerusalem Mayor visits Al-Aqsa mosque prompting anger

Tunisia reinforces commitment to democracy with ‘transparent’ elections

Turkey ‘decides’ for Kobane future: No Kurds, no Assad... Only Free Syrian Army!

Bahrain suspends Al-Wefaq weeks before parliamentary elections

Huge game changer in Tunisia: ‘In-credible’ failure of Islamist Ennahda Party

Libya PM in Khartoum for talks with Bashir

PKK hijack truck seizing explosive substance

Saudi lawyers get jail time for offensive tweets

Ennahda concedes defeat in Tunisia parliamentary elections

Syria rebels launch assault on regime-held city of Idlib

Iraq peshmerga wait for Turkey stance to depart for Syria

Sisi enacts military trials decree to cover ‘existential threat’

US calls for online war against ‘Islamic State’