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.

 

Saudi king vows to punish those behind bombing at Shiite mosque

Weakened by war, Syria regime appears ready for ‘de facto partition’

‘Islamic State’ takes full control of Iraq-Syria border crossing

Tripoli leaders use migrant issue as they yearn for recognition

Al-Azhar pleads for protection of Syria ancient city

Iran army ‘needs bigger budget to counter IS’

Saudi Shiites refuse to be provoked by deadly mosque bombing

Iran denies agreement on inspection of military sites

Emirati aid shipment arrives in Yemen port city of Aden

GCC denies air campaign against IS terrorists has failed

Sudan's Islamists protest against el-Sisi

Saudi mosque attack intended to fan sectarian tension

Islamic State claims Saudi mosque bombing

Israel solicits Platini to sway FIFA

Islamic State reinforces ‘caliphate’ with control of borders

Israeli deputy FM: 'All of it is ours'

Iraqi forces to launch Ramadi offensive

Tunis asks Rome to extradite terror suspect

Suicide bomb attack on Saudi Shiite mosque

Saudi-led coalition warplanes pound Sanaa outskirts

Shebab gunmen raid Kenya village

Kuwait businessman Khorafi dies at 75

IS fighters attack Iraq forces east of Ramadi

Obama offers Tunisia closer security ties

Yemen air strikes continue as Iran calls for talks

Israeli court orders release of Khalida Jarrar

Netanyahu meets with Arab leader Ayman Odeh

U.S. sanctions two companies linked to Iran's plane purchases

Iran supports Yemen talks, denounces foreign interference

IS militants call for attacks on Egypt's judges

11 killed in fresh Libya violence

Assad regime losses in Syria

Obama looks to bolster Tunisia's democratic gains

Turkey opposition unveils plan to build new 'mega-city' in Anatolia

Iraqi prime minister seeks Russian support against Islamic State

Iraq's Sunni tribes feel distrust towards Baghdad after Ramadi fall

Morocco illegal migrant arrest fuels Italy row

Qatar ‘failing to deliver’ on promised labour reforms

US to sell bombs, missiles to Israel, helicopters to Saudis

IS jihadists in full control of Syria's Palmyra

Yemen government wants rebel pullback before joining Geneva talks

Morocco King names four new ministers in second reshuffle

Gaza reconstruction going ‘far more slowly than expected’

France kills two jihadist chiefs in Sahel region

Clashes with ‘Islamic State’ rage on near Libya city of Sirte