Wide Angle

Six Hirak detainees to renounce their Moroccan citizenship

Six Hirak detainees, including Nasser Zefzafi, announced, Friday, that they are officially asking for the removal of their Moroccan citizenship. The reasons behind their decision were addressed in a long press release.

Hirak detainees want to renounce their Moroccan citizenship. / Ph. DR
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Nasser Zefzafi, Mohamed Al Haki, Nabil Ahamjik, Samir Ighid, Wassim Boustati and Zakaria Adehchour, six Hirak detainees, announced Friday that they would relinquish their Moroccan citizenship.

In a statement issued by the «Tafra Association», which represents the families of convicted Hirak activists, the six detainees claim that «they have been convicted for the opinions and political positions» they had «publicly voiced through the Hirak Rif movement, criticizing the political landscape and structure in Morocco».

They stressed that they «are convinced that the state is using the judicial system as an extension to its security institutions, plans and strategies», all while recalling the context in which they decided to take to the streets to denounce the violence and the human rights violations that followed the death of «Mohcine Fikri, Imad Al Attabi and Abdelhafid Al Haddad».

Citizenship renunciation, a strong symbolic act

Faced with these «restrictions» outside and inside their prison cells, these Hirak detainees decided to abandon their citizenship, starting from the day of publication of their press release.

«We hold the Moroccan State fully responsible for any harm that may affect us mentally and physically from that date. We entrust the international community, its authorities and its institutions with the responsibility of monitoring our request from the date of publication of this document».

The press release of the six Hirak detainees

«We wanted a homeland for everyone, they wanted it as a property that they could run, selling off their people and plundering their resources. We mourn the homeland, we sacrificed our youth and we will give it our life; however, we will never be ready to endorse a state that wants to bury a people, a homeland and a dream of dignity and freedom», they concluded.

An almost impossible request

«An official request has been sent by the detainees to the Minister of Justice and the President of the Public Prosecutor's Office. Do not take it lightly», Ahmed Zefzafi, Nasser's father said in Facebook live on Friday.

Announcing the renunciation of their citizenship is a strong political symbol for Hirak detainees. It is also a rare act that has been done only a couple of times before, we cite here boxer Zakaria Moumni and pro-Polisario activist Aminatou Haidar.

Aside from the symbolism this act may hold, the procedure in itself is a complicated one and is highly regulated. Indeed, the Dahir No. 1-58-250 about the Moroccan citizenship code provides only four scenarios for citizenship renunciation in the country, which would not apply to the six detainees.

Renouncing your Moroccan citizenship will need you to bear, beforehand, a foreign or second citizenship and that must abide by the law and a long procedure as explained in articles 22, 23 and 24.

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