Jawad Ababou from Taza

19-year old Jawad Ababou from Taza, Morocco has been sentenced to 10 years in prison for taking part in the recent protests Koucha, a small neighborhood in Taza.

He was kidnapped by police and prevented from seeing his family, who for 6 days were completely unaware of his whereabouts. Police accused him of building bombs in his repair shop, which is shown in the above video containing no evidence of such claims. In the days he’s been held, his mother explains the evidence of torture on his body and how he has been deprived of any medical attention.

His mother also breaks down the accusations against her son, pointing out several contradictions in the police report filed against him. Namely, that the officer who was a “witness” to Jawad’s bomb-making drove past his garage when the road was entirely closed off. The officer has also contradicted himself with regard to what Jawad exactly had in his hand that indicated he was making bombs.

She breaks down in tears: “I’ve lived here for 18 years and all these young boys being imprisoned and accused of being terrorists are like my sons. They’ve done nothing wrong. What’s going to happen when they come out of jail? They’re going to become angrier and marginalized, and for what? For no reason.”

She hits such an important point. The security forces use a very dangerous tactic, whether it is intended or unintended. When someone has been wrongfully accused, tortured and abused, for a certain amount of time, he will build up anger and frustration. It’s no accident that the marginalization of opposing voices often results in the evolution of a peaceful protest to a violent one. And in the end, they will be accused of being violent all along. It’s horrible watching everything unfold in Taza since January, and especially that little is being said about it outside the city. I hope this woman and every other person wronged by the system finds justice. This can’t go on forever.

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