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Human Rights Watch denounces the «abusive solitary detention» of a Moroccan-Belgian convict

Belgian-Moroccan Abdelkader Belliraj who was sentenced to life in a terrorism trial in Morocco. / DR
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Sentenced to life in one of Morocco’s best-known counterterrorism trials, a Belgian-Moroccan man has reportedly been held in «abusive solitary detention for more than three years», Human Rights Watch (HRW) wrote on Friday.

The international NGO, which recalls that the «mass trial in which he was convicted was marred by serious rights violations», added that the sentence imposed on Belgian-Moroccan convict Abdelkader Belliraj was based on his and co-defendants’ «confessions, which they said were obtained under police torture».

His wife told HRW that Belliraj «has been deprived of contact with inmates and confined to his cell 23 hours a day since 2016».

«It is bad enough when a man gets a life sentence as the result of a miscarriage of justice, but keeping him in inhuman prison conditions for years is like twisting the knife», said Eric Goldstein, acting director for the Middle East and North Africa at Human Rights Watch.

«Abdelqader Belliraj and all prisoners in Morocco should be treated humanely, and that includes having daily contact with other human beings», it concluded.

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