Since February 17, 2009 Chakib El Khayari, president of the Human Rights Association of the Rif region in Morocco has been serving a 3 years prison term for ‘offending the Moroccan state’.
In 2008, Chakib initiated a successfull debate on the legalisation of hemp for industrial and medicinal purposes in Morocco
Chakib El Khayari is known throughout the world for his defense of the cultural rights of the Amazigh people and the African migrants who travel through the region on a daily basis, on their way to Europe. He is also known for his declarations to the press in which he has denounced the active collaboration of Moroccan police and army in the illegal trafficking of hashish to Europe
In 2010 Chakib received the Integrity Award from Transparency Maroc, for his contribution to the fight against corruption in Morocco.
On the second anniversary of his detention, we ask you to help putting pressure on the Moroccan authorities so that Chakib El Khayari is released as soon as possible.
Thanks for signing and sending this open letter to
His Majesty Mohamed VI, King of Morocco
With a copy to the Moroccan embassy in your country
And to your Member of European Parliament (see below for a list of members of the EP – delegation with the Maghreb)
Update 14.4.2011: Chakik El-Khayari is free: Youtube
18 February 2011
The sole purpose of this letter is to ask you to release Chakib El-Khayari, a human rights activist, unjustly condemned and imprisoned in Morocco since 2009.
Chakib El-Khayari, President of the Human Rights Association of the Rif region and member of the Federal Council of the Global Conference of the Amazigh (CMA), was arrested by the Moroccan police on 17 February 2009 in his house in Nador. He has then been condemned by the court of Casablanca to a prison term of 3 years and to a fine of 753930 DH (or 68000 €) for the following motives :
«offense of the institutions», due to his public statements on the involvement of high ranking officials in the police, the army and the government ;
As a Human Rights activist, Chakib El-Khayari has not done other than his duty to draw the attention of all concerned parties on the serious irregularities committed by the state services responsible for the fight against corruption and illegal trafficking of hashish. In the same time, he has not ceased to alert the public opinion on the degree of serious poverty of the peasants in the Rif and plead courageously in favour of the legalization of cannabis production in Morocco.
«violation of the codes for exchange and deposit of funds in a foreign bank without the authorisation of the Exchange Office».
In fact, Chakib El-Khayari is the owner of a bank account in Melilla, Spain, on which he had deposited 225 euro at the time of his arrest, proceeding from the compensation of an article he had written for the Spanish newspaper «El-Pais».
Chakib El-Khayari was condemned by virtue of article 265 of the penal code that foresees that «offense of the institutions is sanctioned with a prison term of between one month and one year and a fine of 250 to 5.000 dirhams».
Supposing that Chakib El-Khayari is guilty, why is his punishment superior to the highest possible foreseen by the law?
Nothing justifies the heavy sanction that has been applied to Chakib El-Khayari. It is a manifest act of repression that is contrary to the international instruments to protect Human Rights that were ratified by Morocco and in particular, the international agreement on civil and political rights between Morocco and the European Union.
We denounce firmly the detention of Chakib El-Khayari and urge his inmediate and unconditional release.
We remain, Majesté, sincerely yours.
List of Members of the Delegation with the Maghreb of the European Parliament