- For defenders
- How can I help?
Morocco: Violent raid on the premises of the local branch of Moroccan Human Rights Association in Bou Arafa
On 20 November 2011, the Moroccan security forces raided the offices of the local branch of the Association Marocaine des Droits Humains – AMDH (Moroccan Human Rights Association) in the town of Bou Arafa, and launched physical and verbal attacks on those present.
Those attacked included Ms Khadija Al Ammari, member of the AMDH Branch Bureau, other members of AMDH, and activists who were congregating on or near the premises to join a rally organised by AMDH which was scheduled to take place in the town on the day of the attack. While carrying out the raid, the security forces cordoned off the premises of AMDH to prevent people from entering or leaving the building.
After entering the AMDH offices, members of the security forces pushed and insulted Khadija Al Ammari. Other AMDH members inside the office were also verbally abused. It is reported that some of those congregating outside the building in advance of the AMDH rally were beaten and kicked by security forces, who used batons to carry out the attacks. Some of the victims were taken to hospital for treatment of injuries.
This attack on AMDH's members and premises is the latest in a series of similar attacks carried out during the year. On 30 June, Mr Abdelhamid Amin, the Deputy Director of AMDH, Ms Nidal Hamdach, member of the Central Bureau of AMDH, and Ms Amina Bereidaeh, member of AMDH, were taking part in a peaceful protest when they were physically attacked by a group of men believed to be affiliated to the security forces. Both Nidal Hamdach, who was hit in the head by what appeared to be an electric baton, and Amina Bereidaeh were taken to hospital.
AMDH is one of the most prominent human rights groups in Morocco and has been leading a campaign for effective legislative and democratic reforms in the country in accordance with Morocco's obligations under human rights instruments to which it is a state party. AMDH has written to the Minister of Interior complaining about the attack and calling for an independent investigation into the incident.
Front Line is concerned about the attack on the members and premises of AMDH and the ongoing campaign of harassment and intimidation perpetrated by the security forces against AMDH and its affiliates. The organisation believes that this attack and others are intended to stop AMDH and its members form carrying out their legitimate work in the defence of human rights in Morocco.