Thursday, May 01, 2014

Morocco: Human rights activist abducted after participating in labour protest


The Arabic Network for Human Rights Information (ANHRI) decries the abduction of and the physical attack Wafaa Sharaf, a human rights activist, was subjected to by unknown assailants following her participation in a labour protest in Tangier.

Wafaa Sharaf is a member of the Tangier branch of the Moroccan Association for Human Rights (OMDH). She was kidnapped on 27 April and forcibly detained in a car for nearly two hours whilst blindfolded. Throughout her detention, she was subjected to insults and physical abuse. In addition, 2700 Dirham ($US 333) was stolen from her.

According to OMDH, the abductors dumped Sharaf in an area about 12 km away from the city of Tangier. It was reported that she was abducted after she had participated in a labor protest at "Al-Taghyeer" plaza in Beni Makada, to defend workers' rights in Tangier.

"Sharaf's abduction is a despicable violation. Not only should Moroccan authorities halt the prosecution of human rights defenders, but it is also an essential part of their duty to protect them besides ensuring citizens' safety and security," said ANHRI.

The Arabic Network calls on Moroccan authorities to open an urgent investigation into the incident of Sharaf's abduction and attack, so as to identify the perpetrators and punish them. It also demands that the authorities exert a genuine and effective effort to protect all citizens regardless of their political background and stances.