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Gdeim Izik : Morocco high court reviews the case, according to HRW

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International NGO Human Rights Watch (HRW) said, Sunday that Morocco’s highest court is «examining the case of 19 men imprisoned since 2010 after violent clashes with the police», referring to the Gdeim Izik cases.

In a statement, HRW recalled that the Cassation Court reviewed on November 5 a lower-court ruling the Gdeim Izik case, which sparked during the dismantlement by Moroccan security forces of a protest near Laayoune.

A verdict is expected on November 25th. «The men are serving sentences of 20 years to life after trials that were marred by torture allegations», the NGO wrote.

«Everyone – the defendants, the slain policemen and their families – deserve real justice, based on a trial that was fair and seen to be fair», said Eric Goldstein, acting Middle East and North Africa director at Human Rights Watch.

«The defendants were convicted first in a military court in 2013 and in a civilian appeals court in 2017, for responsibility for the deaths of 11 security force members during clashes after security forces dismantled the camp», recalls the NGO, adding that «the verdicts heavily leaned on confessions that the defendants have challenged».

The Cassation Court does not review the facts of the case, but only issues of procedure, abuses of authority, and misapplication of the law. «The court, whose verdict is expected by November 25, can void a verdict, as it did in 2016, and order a retrial. Otherwise, the 2017 verdict of the appeals court of Salé will be deemed definitive, leaving no option other than a royal pardon to free the defendants before they complete their terms», the NGO concluded.

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