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Human rights defender Rabi Al Ablaq’s health in critical condition after more than six weeks on hunger strike

Status: 
Imprisoned
About the situation

On 31 October 2019 human rights defender Rabi Al Ablaq suspended his hunger strike due to the critical condition of his health. On 25 October 2019 Rabi Al Ablaq was transferred to the hospital wing of Tangier prison.

Human rights defender Rabi Al Ablaq’s health has severely deteriorated after spending over six weeks on hunger strike to protest against the physical abuse and ill-treatment he has been subjected to in Tangier prison. The prison administration is refusing to provide him with adequate medical assistance.

About Rabi Al Ablaq

Rabi al-AblaqRabi Al Ablaq is a human rights defender and journalist at the news websites Badeel and 24 Rif. He is a member of the Rif Movement, which demands equal social, economic, and cultural rights for the Rif region in Morocco. The Rif Movement also advocates for the protection of Amazigh identity and indigenous language, and calls for the release of members of the Rif Movement who have been detained as political prisoners.

31 October 2019
Rabi Al Ablaq suspends hunger strike

On 31 October 2019 human rights defender Rabi Al Ablaq suspended his hunger strike due to the critical condition of his health. On 25 October 2019 Rabi Al Ablaq was transferred to the hospital wing of Tangier prison.

24 October 2019
Human rights defender Rabi Al Ablaq’s health in critical condition after more than six weeks on hunger strike

Human rights defender Rabi Al Ablaq’s health has severely deteriorated after spending over six weeks on hunger strike to protest against the physical abuse and ill-treatment he has been subjected to in Tangier prison. The prison administration is refusing to provide him with adequate medical assistance.

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Rabi Al Ablaq is a human rights defender and journalist at the news websites Badeel and 24 Rif. He is a member of the Rif Movement, which demands equal social, economic, and cultural rights for the Rif region in Morocco. The Rif Movement also advocates for the protection of Amazigh identity and indigenous language, and calls for the release of members of the Rif Movement who have been detained as political prisoners.

Rabi Al Ablaq and several other human rights defenders from the Rif Movement have been continually harassed by the Moroccan authorities. Rabi Al Ablaq was arrested on 12 May 2017 from Al Hoceima city by the Morocco secret police. After being held for more than one year in preventive detention, the Casablanca Appeals Court charged the human rights defender with ‘conspiracy against the state’, and he was sentenced to five years in prison. Rabi Al Ablaq is being held at Tangier prison which is 290 kilometers from his home city Al Hoceima. The human rights defender has been continually ill-treated and physically abused by the prison guards. He was stripped and threatened with sexual abuse in order to coerce him into approving and signing the interrogation dossier.

On 6 September 2019, Rabi Al Ablaq started an open ended hunger strike as a protest against the physical abuse to which he was subjected, and to demand a fair trail after the Casablanca Appeals Court refused to hear his defence before his sentencing. Six weeks into the hunger strike, the human rights defender’s health has become critical. Despite being incapable of movement the Tangier prison administration is refusing to transfer him to a hospital.

Rabi Al Ablaq has been on hunger strike several times to protest against abuse and unfair judicial proceedings against him. In July 2017, he went into a coma and spent 13 days in intensive care, following a thirty-nine day hunger strike.

Front Line Defenders is deeply concerned about the continued imprisonment and poor health of Rabi Al Ablaq, as it believes that his imprisonment and ill-treatment are solely motivated by his legitimate and peaceful work in defending human rights.