Back to top

Abdessadeq El Bouchtaoui summoned for interrogation

Status: 
Charged
About the situation

Human rights defender and lawyer Abdessadeq El Bouchtaoui is facing charges including “insulting public officials and members of the public forces to obstruct their work”, “threatening and insulting public bodies”, “contempt of judicial decisions”,  “incitement to commit misdemeanors and felonies”, “contributing to the organization of an unauthorized and prohibited demonstration”, and “inviting people to participate in a prohibited demonstration”. HE will attend the first hearing at the Court of First Instance in Al-Hoceima at 9.00 AM on 26 October 2017, case no. 147/2101/2017.

About Abdessadeq El Bouchtaoui

abdessadeq_el_bouchtaoui.jpegAbdessadeq El Bouchtaoui is a human rights defender and lawyer who represents activists in Al-Hoceima who have faced charges in relation to protests. He is also the attorney of the family of Emad El-Attabi, who died as a result of clashes between police and protesters in July 2017 during which over 80 people were injured. The human rights defender  has denounced excessive use of force by Moroccan forces against non-violent protesters and restrictions on freedom of expression and assembly. He is also the co-founder of the National Association for Human Rights in Morocco.

6 October 2017
Abdessadeq El Bouchtaoui charged

Human rights defender and lawyer Abdessadeq El Bouchtaoui is facing charges including “insulting public officials and members of the public forces to obstruct their work”, “threatening and insulting public bodies”, “contempt of judicial decisions”,  “incitement to commit misdemeanors and felonies”, “contributing to the organization of an unauthorized and prohibited demonstration”, and “inviting people to participate in a prohibited demonstration”. The human rights defender will attend the first hearing at the Court of First Instance in Al-Hoceima at 9.00 AM on 26 October 2017, case no. 147/2101/2017.

On 7 September 2017, Abdessadeq El Bouchtaoui received a summons from the Moroccan Public Prosecutions Office. He was told that he was being investigated in relation to his legal representation of Al-Hoceima activists. The human rights defender was previously interrogated on 11 August 2017 at Tétouan police station. He had received a summons on 9 August during a court visit with the family members of Emad Al-Attabi to request the retrieval of his body.

On 18 September 2017, at 10.00 am Abdessadeq El Bouchtaoui's attorney attended a summons at Al Hoceima police station on his client's behalf. As Abdessadeq El Bouchtaoui lives in Tétouan, several hours away from Al Hoceima, his attorney appeared in his place.

On 26 September 2017, Abdessadeq El Bouchtaoui was notified that, as evidence, the public prosecution would cite over 150 of his Facebook posts, generally critical of government policies and police brutality, as well as security and intelligence sources.

Front Line Defenders condemns the judicial harassment of Abdessadeq El Bouchtaoui, which appears to be the result of his work as a human rights lawyer and the exercise of his freedom of expression, and calls on Moroccan authorities to immediately drop all charges.

28 September 2017
Abdessadeq El Bouchtaoui investigated on charges of “incitement to disobedience”

On 26 September 2017, at a hearing with the public prosecution authorities in Al-Hoceima, human rights defender and lawyer Abdessadeq El Bouchtaoui was notified that he was being investigated on charges including “insulting public officials”, “insulting the military establishment”, and “incitement to disobedience”. As evidence, the public prosecution cited over 150 Facebook posts, many of which were critical of the government for police brutality and violent suppression of demonstrations. Security and intelligence resources were also cited.

Download the Urgent Appeal (PDF)

On 18 September 2017, at 10.00 am, Abdessadeq El Bouchtaoui's attorney attended a summons at Al Hoceima police station on his client's behalf. As Abdessadeq El Bouchtaoui lives in Tétouan, several hours away from Al Hoceima, his attorney appeared in his place. The investigating authorities suggested to the attorney that the human rights defender is being investigated for "incitement".

On 7 September 2017, Abdessadeq El Bouchtaoui received a summons from the Moroccan Public Prosecutions Office. He was told that he was being investigated in relation to his legal representation of Al-Hoceima activists. The human rights defender was previously interrogated on 11 August 2017 at Tétouan police station. He had received a summons on 9 August during a court hearing visit with family members to request the retrieval of the body of Emad El-Attabi.

His summons and questioning follow his criticism on Facebook of the repression of Al-Hoceima protests, which were held in response to a speech in which King Mohammed VI described protesters and those criticizing government development policies as “collaborating against the homeland”. The King responded to the protests stating that law enforcement agents were “showing restraint and commitment to the rule of law as they maintained security and stability”.

During the protests, police forces used tear gas, resulting in the hospitalization of several protesters, including Emad El-Attabi, who died after being hit by a tear gas canister on 20 July 2017. Police were also recorded punching protesters, including during other earlier demonstrations.

Front Line Defenders condemns the judicial harassment of Abdessadeq El Bouchtaoui, which appears to be the result of his work as a human rights lawyer and the exercise of his freedom of expression.

Front Line Defenders urges the authorities in Morocco to:

1. Drop all charges and immediately cease all further harassment of Abdessadeq El Bouchtaoui, as Front Line Defenders believes that this issolely as a result of his legitimate work in defence of human rights;

2. Cease targeting all human rights defenders in Morocco and guarantee in all circumstances that they are able to carry out their legitimate human rights activities without fear of reprisals and free of all restrictions including judicial harassment.

15 September 2017
Abdessadeq El Bouchtaoui summoned for interrogation

Human rights defender and lawyer Abdessadeq El Bouchtaoui has been summoned for interrogation by Moroccan authorities. He will have to appear on 18 September 2017 at 10.00 am at Tétouan police station.

Download the Urgent Appeal (PDF)

Abdessadeq El Bouchtaoui was summoned on 7 September 2017. He was told that he was being investigated in relation to his legal representation of Al-Hoceima activists. The human rights defender was previously interrogated on 11 August 2017 at Tétouan police station. He had received summons on 9 August during a court hearing visit with family members to request the retrieval of the body of Emad El-Attabi.

His summons and questioning follows his criticism on Facebook of the repression of Al-Hoceima protests, which were held in response to  a speech in which King Mohammed VI described those criticizing government development policies and protesters as “collaborating against the homeland”. The King responded to the protests stating that law enforcement agents were “showing restraint and commitment to the rule of law as they maintained security and stability.”

During the protests, police forces used tear gas, resulting in the hospitalization of several protesters, including Emad El-Attabi, who died after being hit by a tear gas canister on 20 July 2017. Police were also recorded punching protesters, including during other earlier demonstrations.

Front Line Defenders condemns the judicial harassment of Abdessadeq El Bouchtaoui, which appears to be the result of his work as a human rights lawyer and the exercise of his freedom of expression.
 

Front Line Defenders urges the authorities in Morocco to:

1. Halt the summons and immediately cease all further harassment of Abdessadeq El Bouchtaoui, as Front Line believes that this judicial harassment is carried out solely as a result of his legitimate work in defence of human rights;

2. Cease targeting all human rights defenders in Morocco and guarantee in all circumstances that they are able to carry out their legitimate human rights activities without fear of reprisals and free of all restrictions including judicial harassment.