15 December 2012

Morocco: ANHRI Calls for the Immediate Release of 'Butarada'

press release

Cairo — ANHRI denounced the arrest of "Edris Butarada", the activist who is known as the masked man, by the Moroccan security forces. He was arrested while wearing clothes resembling the King Mohamed VI.

The Moroccan security forces, have arrested the activist and the member of February 20 movement which played a significant role in the Moroccan protest, last year. He was arrested due to participation in a peaceful demonstration against the government in Rabat on December 8, 2012 and wearing clothes resembling the king in addition to imitating him by using the medical stick.

Unknown persons in a civil costume, have arrested the activist on December 10, 2012. He was arrested from his house before false allegations of possessing drugs were pressed against him.

The activist's lawyer said that "the public prosecution pressed the charges of possessing 15 gram of drugs, denied by the activist, on the activist". Furthermore, "the public prosecution refused to record that "Butarada" is a political activist".

ANHRI said that "the arrest of Butarada is a persistence in the series of arrests which included the youth participated in February 20 and an attempt to distort their image before people through pressing abusive charges against them. The authorities press the same traditional charges on the activists, as the blogger and the member of February 20 movement "Mohamed Socrat", was sentenced for two years in jail due to possessing drugs too. In addition to the sentences made against the activists, like the rapper known as "Haqed" who was sentenced for a year imprisonment and a young poet opponent "Yunis Belkhadim" who was sentenced for two years in addition to the student "Tarek Hamany" for six years imprisonment".

ANHRI added that "we were waiting for the decision of "Kiran" government in order to be in the side of the freedom of expression and the opinion makers, but it fails to achieve it, a day after day, through adopting the same style of fabricating the accusations to the activists and opponents to send them to jail.

ANHRI called the Moroccan authorities to immediately release the activist " Butarada" and drop all the charges pressed on him.

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