Speak up for Ali Aarrass – torture survivor on hunger strike

UPDATE 9 November 2015: Ali Aarrass suspended his hunger strike last week after 72 days.

After visiting him last week, his family said that he was very weak, in pain and had lost a huge amount of weight. They feared for his life, so he reluctantly decided to suspend his hunger strike.

Although Ali expressed his grief over the lack of progress from the authorities, in response to his demands, he said how proud he was to have received so much support from all around the world.

He is determined to keep fighting for justice and stressed that he ‘suspended’ his hunger strike but did not end it.

Please keep up the pressure and help Ali call for justice

Here’s what we need you to do:

Send a tweet to Morocco's Ministry of Communications. The Minister, Musptapha Khalfi, has the power to speak up for Ali.

To send our pre-written tweet, just click the button below. Or write your own to @MinicomMa - remember to keep it polite!

Tweet .@MincomMa what's happened to #AliAarrass #torture investigation? Please take action & ensure justice #StopTorture

Justice for Ali, tortured by security forces

Five years ago, Ali Aarrass, a Belgian-Moroccan national, was in Spain caring for his elderly father when he was forcibly returned to Morocco. Ali told us he was tortured for 12 days in a secret detention centre, where he was beaten on the soles of his feet, given electric shocks to his testicles, suspended from his wrists, and burned with cigarettes.

The resulting ‘confession’ formed the foundation of his conviction. Ali is still imprisoned today and is serving a 12-year sentence.

The Moroccan authorities took a positive step by opening an investigation into Ali’s case, but 16 months later the investigation has stalled.

Now Ali has gone on hunger strike to protest against the delays to his investigation and improper treatment by prison guards, which also prompted other detainees to go on a 48 hour hunger strike recently.

It has been almost a month since he started his strike and he is now severely weakened and struggling to walk.

Tweet the Moroccan authorities – demand they speak up for Ali.

With Ali’s health rapidly deteriorating, it’s vital we act now.

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More on Ali’s case

We’ve been campaigning for Ali to be freed for several years as part of our Stop Torture campaign.

Last year 216,000 of you signed our global petition calling for the Moroccan authorities to release Ali and investigate his allegations of torture.

The Moroccan authorities responded to pressure and reopened the investigation into Ali Aarrass’ case in May 2014. They told us that the decision to reopen the investigation was partly to do with Amnesty’s continued work on the case.

Last summer Ali was subjected to further medical tests by Moroccan authorities as part of their investigation into his torture. The medical examination went ahead without an international and independent forensic expert.

Ali told us that the medical examination process was drawn out and left him badly shaken, although he was willing to go through it if it meant achieving justice. He said he had vomited on one occasion due to the distress and had lost a lot of weight following the examinations.

Ali and his lawyers have yet to see any medical reports on the outcome of that investigation. The authorities have given no indication of when the investigation might be complete.

Tweet the Communications Minister – ask him to speak up for Ali 

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Our blogs are written by Amnesty International staff, volunteers and other interested individuals, to encourage debate around human rights issues. They do not necessarily represent the views of Amnesty International.
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