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Judicial Harassment of human rights defender Brahim Dihani

Status: 
Acquitted
About the situation

On 18 July 2019, the Misdemeanour Chamber of the Court of Appeal of the city of El Aaiun upheld the decision of acquittal of human rights defender Brahim Dihani, ordered the reimbursement of the fine he was sentenced to pay, and the return of his organisation’s camera which had been confiscated from him at the time of his arrest in December 2018.  The Court also ordered that all of the trial expenses are to be paid by the public treasury. The appeal court hearing for the human rights defender was originally scheduled for 11 July 2019, but was later adjourned to 18 July 2019.

On 20 June 2019, the Court of Appeals of El Aaiun adjourned the hearing of human rights defender Brahim Dihani until 11 July 2019.

On 30 May 2019, Brahim Dihani was summoned by the Court of Appeals of El Aaiun, Western Sahara. The human rights defender is due to appear before the court on 20 June 2019.

On 6 February 2019, the Misdemeanour Chamber of the Court of First instance of El Aaiun, Western Sahara ruled in favour of the acquittal of human rights defender Brahim Dihani and dropped all charges against him. The Court also ordered the return of ASVDH's cameras, which had been confiscated.

On 16 January 2019, the Civil Chamber of the Court of First instance of El Aaiun, Western Sahara,  adjourned the court hearing of Brahim Dihani until 23 January 2019. The adjournment of the trial was requested by Brahim Dihani's defence lawyer after the prosecution brought a second charge against the human rights defender.

On 18 December 2018, human rights defender Brahim Dihani was interrogated and charged with “breaching the right to privacy” for his documentation of peaceful protests in the city of Al Ayoun over the past months.

About Brahim Dihani

Brahim DihaniBrahim Dihani is a human rights defender who works to monitor and document peaceful protests within the Sahrawi Association of Victims of Grave Violations of Human Rights Committed by the Moroccan State, or ASVDH. ASVDH is an independent human rights NGO that operates in occupied Western Sahara. The organisation was denied registration by the Moroccan authorities since its foundation in 2005, and was finally granted it in 2015 when it became the only registered organisation in Western Sahara.

24 July 2019
Acquittal of Brahim Dihani upheld by court of appeal

On 18 July 2019, the Misdemeanour Chamber of the Court of Appeal of the city of El Aaiun upheld the decision of acquittal of human rights defender Brahim Dihani, ordered the reimbursement of the fine he was sentenced to pay, and the return of his organisation’s camera which had been confiscated from him at the time of his arrest in December 2018.  The Court also ordered that all of the trial expenses are to be paid by the public treasury. The appeal court hearing for the human rights defender was originally scheduled for 11 July 2019, but was later adjourned to 18 July 2019.

20 June 2019
Hearing of Brahim Dihani's case adjourned

On 20 June 2019, the Court of Appeals of El Aaiun adjourned the hearing of human rights defender Brahim Dihani until 11 July 2019.

18 June 2019
Brahim Dihani summoned to court

On 30 May 2019, Brahim Dihani was summoned by the Court of Appeals of El Aaiun, Western Sahara. The human rights defender is due to appear before the court on 20 June 2019.

The summons is a result of an appeal lodged by the prosecution of the Court of First Instance in response to the decision of the Misdemeanour Chamber of the Court of First Instance of El Aaiun, which acquitted the human rights defender of all charges on 6 February 2019.

11 February 2019
Brahim Dihani Acquitted

On 6 February 2019, the Misdemeanour Chamber of the Court of First instance of El Aaiun, Western Sahara ruled in favour of the acquittal of human rights defender Brahim Dihani and dropped all charges against him. The Court also ordered the return of ASVDH's cameras, which had been confiscated.

Brahim Dihani was charged under Article 72 of Law 88-13 on the Press and Publishing. Article 72 deals with the publication and dissemination of false news.

Brahim Dihani is a human rights defender who works to monitor and document peaceful protests within the Sahrawi Association of Victims of Grave Violations of Human Rights Committed by the Moroccan State, or ASVDH. ASVDH is an independent human rights NGO that operates in occupied Western Sahara.

Front Line Defenders welcomes the news of the acquittal.

18 January 2019
New Charge Against Brahim Dihani

On 16 January 2019, the Civil Chamber of the Court of First instance of El Aaiun, Western Sahara,  adjourned the court hearing of Brahim Dihani until 23 January 2019. The adjournment of the trial was requested by Brahim Dihani's defence lawyer after the prosecution brought a second charge against the human rights defender.

Brahim Dihani is now also being charged under Article 72 of Law 88-13 on the Press and Publishing. Article 72 deals with the publication and dissemination of false news.

Two international observers were present at the court hearing on 16 January.  A Spanish lawyer, who was also due to observe the hearing, was expelled from El Aaiun airport and returned to Spain via Casablanca.

21 December 2018
Judicial Harassment of human rights defender Brahim Dihani

On 18 December 2018, human rights defender Brahim Dihani was interrogated and charged with “breaching the right to privacy” for his documentation of peaceful protests in the city of Al Ayoun over the past months.

Download the Urgent Appeal

Brahim Dihani is a human rights defender who works to monitor and document peaceful protests within the Sahrawi Association of Victims of Grave Violations of Human Rights Committed by the Moroccan State, or ASVDH. ASVDH is an independent human rights NGO that operates in occupied Western Sahara.

On 17 December 2018 Brahim Dihani received an oral summons from the Moroccan police demanding that he present himself before the Royal Public Prosecutor in the First Instance Court in the city of Al Ayoun. The summons order was triggered by two police reports issued after the human rights defender was arrested on 27 October and 4 December. Prior to these arrests he had been documenting peaceful protests organised by the Coordination of Sahrawi Human Rights Activities in the city of Al Ayoun.

The Royal Public Prosecutor upheld the charge related to a breach of the right to privacy for publishing photos and videos of people without their consent, according to article 447-2 of the Moroccan criminal code, as amended by new law 103.13 on the protection of personal data. The new law allows for the prosecution of those taking photographs or filming in public places. Under this charge, Brahim Dihani could face a sentence of up to three years in prison and a fine of up to 20000 MAD (2000 euro). The first hearing for the human rights defender is due to take place on 16 January 2019.

Front Line Defenders condemns the ongoing judicial harassment of Brahim Dihani, as it believes the charges against him are solely motivated by his peaceful and legitimate work in the defence of human rights.