Morocco: ANHRI Concerned Over Alleged Targeting of University Students for Peacefully Expressing Their Opinions
Arabic Network for Human Rights Information (Cairo)
30 September 2008
Posted to the web 1 October 2008
On 24 September 2008, ANHRI reported that Moroccan students are being targeted by the authorities for criticising the discriminative educational policies that some of the faculties and universities use against politically active students. Meanwhile, student Jadda Boubkar who was arrested on 21 July in Taza city remains in prison.
Authorities at Meknes University recently expelled four students. Three students are facing a temporary expulsion of three years while the studies of eight other students have been suspended for one year.
The Meknes University students are apparently facing these measures for peacefully expressing their opinions. Some were charged for posting a banner which stated, "Saharawi Nation's Right to Self-Determination", while others are accused of obstructing the work of the academic institution.
Boubkar, a student at Taza University, was detained on 21 July for criticising educational policies and the police's suppression of students.
"The practice of these Moroccan universities is . . . a serious transformation in the universities' role, whereby the Moroccan universities act in collusion with security apparatuses and repress their students instead of supporting them and their right to express their opinions," said ANHRI.
Under the so-called "War on Terrorism", the Moroccan government has at times repressed those who criticise its practices. Activist students who do not belong to any radical groups and are known only for their secularism and advocacy of their right to express their opinions have been targeted, as have students with a leftist background.
ANHRI called on the Moroccan government to withdraw recent decisions that threaten the future of the university students, and to fulfill its commitments as regards guaranteeing the right to express opinions, in accordance with the Moroccan Constitution.
Norwegian Support Committee for Western Sahara
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