Solidarity with the children of the Rif

Call for solidarity with the children of the Rif after the abuses they suffered at the hands of the Moroccan police. Roughly a hundred children were victim of arrests, threats, insults and beatings because of their participation in peaceful marches asking for the release of the political prisoners of the Rif.

Press release of 09/01/2018 from the European coordination for the support of the popular movement in the Rif after the latest events that took place in the Rif and Morocco 

In view of the respect due to the dignity of our fellow human beings and, a fortiori to the dignity and well being of children who symbolize innocence and who need, because of their lack of intellectual and physical maturity, special care and protection,

in view of the principle 2 of the declaration of the rights of the child unanimously adopted by the international community during the united nation’s general assembly of The 20th November 1959 which states that:

"The child shall enjoy special protection, and shall be given opportunities and facilities, by law and by other means, to enable him to develop physically, mentally, morally, spiritually and socially in a healthy and normal manner and in conditions of freedom and dignity. In the enactment of laws for this purpose, the best interests of the child shall be the paramount consideration.",

in view of the article 5 of the universal declaration of human rights which states that :

"No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.",

in view of the article 9 of the universal declaration of human rights which states that :

"No one shall be subjected to arbitrary arrest, detention or exile.",

the European coordination for the support of the popular movement in the Rif condemns with the strongest terms, the arrests, abuses, threats of rape and acts of torture inflicted by the Moroccan police to the children of the Rif.

Among the crimes of the Moroccan state against the children of the Rif we can quote:
- 21/07/2017, arrest and acts of torture inflicted to Bilal Elhamzouai, 12 years old from the city of Al Hoceima.
- 10/12/2017, arrest in the city of Imzouren of Mahames Nahhas, 12 years old
- 10/12/2017, arrest of Zakaria ElGhabzouri, 13 years old
- 10/12/2017, arrest of Ayou El Qadaoui, 15 years old
- 19/12/2017, arrest in the city of Imzouren of Issa Moussaoui, 10 years old
- 19/12/2017, arrest of Anouar Abjij, 14 years old
- 19/12/2017, in total 19 children were arrested in the city of Imzouren, among them three brothers, respectively, of 6, 8 and 10 years old.

In total, roughly 100 children were arrested by the Moroccan police. They were all subjected to insults, threats and beatings.
Here are some of the threats uttered by the police: "we will take away the flower of your youth and then we will bring your daughters, mothers and sisters to rape them."
All of these children were arrested and were subjected to the abuses mentioned herein-above because they took part in peaceful marches asking for the release of the political prisoners of the Rif.

That is the true face of the Moroccan regime, a coward regime which terrorizes children and is ready to do evil deeds to silence any protest and free speech.
After jailing an elderly man, a young girl and hundreds of young men and after having sentenced some of these peaceful demonstrators to 20 years of jail, the Moroccan regime decided to terrorize children. This regime uses the most contemptible and despicable processes to silence the aspirations for freedom, dignity and justice of the people of the Rif, to maintain the status quo inherited from colonization and guarantee to its rulers all powers and privileges.

We call upon all the organizations whose mission is to protect children’s rights, among which UNICEF, , The Global Movement for Children, Defense for Children International, le Comité de Solidarité Trois-Rivières, la Fondation pour l'Enfance, la fondation La Voix de l'Enfant as well as all justice loving souls to bring support and assistance to the children of the Rif.

We would also like to show our support to the people of the cities of Jerada, Azemour, Essaouira, Tinghir, Imider, Sidi Ifni and Safi. Solidarity with the city of Jerada, which witnesses an epidemic of silicosis, a lung disease caused by the inhalation of thin particles of coal and where two coal miners, Houcine and Jedouane, respectively 23 and 30 years old, died after the flooding of the gallery they were in. Solidarity with the city of Azemmour in its demand to get access to health care. Solidarity with the locality of Sidi Boulaalam (60 km north-east of the city of Essaouira) where 14 women and 3 children died and 38 others injured during the distribution of basic commodities (mainly flour). Solidarity with the province of Tinghir where Idya, à 3 year old girl died 2 days after a fall because of the lack of access to medical care. Despite the fact that the province of Tinghir contains large ore reserves (mainly gold and lead), the inhabitants don’t benefit from the wealth of their soil and as a result they suffer from great poverty. Solidarity with the village of Imider and particularly with the movement 96 Imider which struggles since the first august 2011 against the plundering of its natural resources (the largest reserve of silver in Africa), the destruction of the environment caused by the pollution and the over exploitation of these resources, marginalization, exclusion and impoverishment policies against the inhabitants of Imider. Despite the very large silver reserves, the inhabitants of Imider are maintained in a state of extreme poverty. Solidarity with the city of Sidi Ifni which is maintained in a state of disrepair and where the population was savagely repressed in 2006. Solidarity with the city of Asfi in its struggle against the import of toxic waste from Italy, which according to the Italian health institute could cause serious diseases like liver and colon cancer.

We ask for the immediate end of the abuses inflicted by the Moroccan police to the children of the Rif, we ask for the immediate release of all the children and political prisoners of Morocco. We ask for the repeal of the decree which states that the province of Al Hoceima is a military zone and the departure of all military forces that besiege the city of Al Hoceima. We finally ask for the satisfaction of all the legitimate demands of the popular movement in the Rif.

We will continue with the strongest of wills our struggle against oppression and injustices until the triumph of freedom and justice.

The European coordination for the support of the popular movement in the Rif

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