Wide Angle

To Nasser Zefzafi, those who burned the Morocco flag in Paris are «traitors»

In an audio recording shared on social media, Nasser Zefzafi addresses the desecration of the national flag in Paris, the Hirak movement and alleged reports on torture and rape. Shortly after it emerged, prison authorities in Morocco announced the launching of an investigation.

Hirak leading figure Nasser Zefzafi. / Ph. DR
Estimated read time: 2'

To Hirak leading figure Nasser Zefzafi, burning the national flag is a «heinous crime». His reaction to the desecration of the Morocco flag, which took place in Paris during a Hirak march, is one of the issues he addressed in an audio recording leaked on social media.

Zefzafi, who is currently serving a 20-year sentence, said that the «sordid act» should be ignored, adding that like many Moroccans, he «was affected and hurt by those images» showing the burning of the flag. «What happened mirrors ignorance and the hatred of these people who want to speak on behalf of the Hirak», he argued.

To Zefzafi, «traitors» orchestrated the Moroccan flag desecration

«I have already warned against these people, because we (Hirak activists) did not hit the streets to burn the national flag but to fight against injustice», he recalled, adding that it is a «premeditated act done in coordination with the services with the blessing of the Makhzen». He argued that these are «attempts to undermine Hirak in Europe». Yet one of the people behind the Moroccan flag desecration have several posts on her Facebook accounts where she calls for the independence of the Rif.

Nasser Zefzafi recalls that Hirak detainees in the Ras El Ma prison in Fez called for a march on October 26 in Paris to commemorate the «tragic» death of Mohcine Fikri. «We were surprised to learn that there was a parallel march attended by these agents», he added.

The leading figure of Hirak accuses, in this respect, France of «complicity». «They (the French authorities) refused to grant visas to Hirak families to attend the march (...) because their presence would have exposed the others and discredited them (...) They (the authorities of the Ras El Ma prison) also prevented us from phoning our loved ones on Thursday and Friday before the march», he added.

«Torture» and «rape» claims

In his one-and-a-half-hour audio, the detainee alleged that he was a victim of «torture» and «rape». «They (policemen) kicked me, spat on me, put me to the ground and took off my clothes. They pissed on me and rubbed their genitals against my face (…) while I was handcuffed, they put a stick in my anus», he recalled.

Zefzafi also referred to the conditions of his detention, stressing that he was put in «an individual cell» and was «isolated». Nasser Zefzafi said that he was only allowed to have «ten-minute walks», during which he was «watched by guards», who «forbade him from looking at the sky». «I also took showers with rusty water», he alleged.

Shortly after the emergence of this audio, prison authorities said in a communiqué that «an administrative inquiry» has been launched to «investigate the recording attributed» to Nasser Zefzafi.

«The investigation will determine responsibility at the administration of the penal institution and among its officials and take the necessary measures against anyone who has failed in his professional duty, as provided by law, as well as against the concerned detainee», said the General Delegation of Prison Administration and Reintegration (DGAPR) in its Friday press release.

«An initial investigation showed that the concerned prisoner had pretended to speak with his relatives to preserve family ties», the same source revealed, adding that «the concerned prisoner as well as others refused to comply with officers’ orders to go to their prison cells and assaulted some officials».

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