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Ex-prisoners in Morocco call for probe into 2003 Casablanca bombings

Ex-prisoners in Morocco call for probe into 2003 Casablanca bombings

Morocco

Former Moroccan Salafist prisoners gathered on Monday at the Parliament in Rabat to demand the reopening of the investigation into the bombings in Casablanca in 2003, accusing the government of evading responsibility

Monday’s demonstration comes exactly 13 years to the day after the wave of suicide bombings in the country’s commercial capital killed 33 people.

In the process, the Moroccan authorities arrested more than 8,000 people and over a thousand were sentenced to various punishments, including death penalty.

We are still waiting for our husbands and sons to be released, some of whom are in prisons hundreds of kilometres from their families.

A number of Moroccans convicted after the attacks are still languishing in jail.

“The living conditions in the prisons are very bad. Even after 13 years, we expect them to release them. We are still waiting for our husbands and sons to be released, some of whom are in prisons hundreds of kilometres from their families,” said Moussaid, spokesperson for the Joint Committee for the Defence of Islamic Prisoners.

In 2011, the King had allowed the release of 196 prisoners convicted of terrorism charges.

Osama Boutahar, national coordinator of the committee says there hadn’t been any change.

“The Islamist detainee file is always the same, there is no change. Recently, the king pardoned 37 prisoners, we hope that other prisoners will also be released from prisons.”

The protesters are also asking Prime Minister Abdelilah Benkirane to meet their demands, that they say he expressed before joining government.

AFP