Morocco: Young people call for the end of the death penalty

Young Amnesty activists are leading the charge against the death penalty in Morocco and in the rest of the world.

Since 2006 they have made remarkable progress in a country where many people believe that the death penalty is a right of god.

At a special camp in 2012 a former death row prisoner, Ahmed El Hou, who was released after an Amnesty campaign, spoke about his experience:

'We woke up on the sound of suppressed steps in the corridor of death in the prison of Kenitra in Morocco. Every one of us was nailed behind the tiny porthole of his cell.

A group of prison guards passed before our eyes laying our friend on their shoulders as he could not stand on this own. We then realised at the heat of the moment that they were walking him towards the yard of death.' 

These young-activists have joined together with other human rights defenders to form the Moroccan Coalition against Death Penalty and use street theatre, public rallies and academic debates to raise awareness.

In October 2012 they held a stage show in Parliament Square featuring Abdelkader Sfiri (above) and other former death row prisoners where they collected hundreds of petition signatures for death row cases in the USA, Iran, Iraq and Palestine. 

All of this is making a difference. The popular pressure generated by their campaign has forced the Moroccan government to draw up a new constitution that provides for the right to life. 

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