Morocco Jailed Activist Student Mustapha Meziani Dies on Hunger Strike

Rabat –  Jailed Moroccan student and far left activist, Mustapha Meziani, died on Wednesday after 72 days of being on a hunger strike in Fez. Moroccan human rights activists are blaming the government for his death.Mustafa Meziani has died after 72 days of a hunger strike in protest of the government’s decision to refuse his demand to be reinstated at the University of Sidi Mohammed Ben Abdellah in Fez.The Moroccan Association of Human Rights (AMDH) has blamed the Moroccan government for the student’s death and earlier this week condemned the Moroccan authorities’ negligence over the health conditions under which Mustafa Meziani was detained. On July 10, Mustafa Meziani was arrested and put surveillance over his alleged involvement in the murder of Islamist student, Abderahim El Hassnaoui.El Hassnaoui had been killed on April 25 during a bloody clash between students from two opposing factions, Al-Tajdid al-Tollabi (OREMA) and Annahj democrati Al Qaidi (or the Democratic Way), on the Fez-Dher Mehrez college campus.Meziani had reportedly denied these charges, and had claimed that his detention was punishment for his activism with the far left group Annahj democrati Al Qaidi. He had decided to go on a hunger strike on July 3 to protest his detention and his exclusion from the university, as well as to demand his right to be reinstated at the university.Meziani was transferred to a treatment room in critical condition on August 4 due to loss of hearing and sight and generally deteriorating health.After Meziani died, Maghreb Arab Presse (MAP) quoted the Fez prison administration as saying that it had done “everything possible to convince him to stop his hunger strike, after he knew that his demand to reinstate to the university had been refused, but in vain.”Meziani’s death has stirred controversy on social media. The activist community has harshly criticized the government. Some of them have accused the Moroccan authorities of persecuting activists who adopt different ideologies to the state institutions’ ideology.A statement issued by the Moroccan Association of Human Rights accused the state institutions of negligence regarding Meziani’s demands. It blamed the head of the government, Abdelillah Benkirane for his death.“We sent an open letter to the head of the government describing Mustapha Meziani’s dangerous health condition before he died, but in vain. It is as if a human being’s life is worth nothing to the Moroccan state, which claims that it respects Human Rights.”© Morocco World News. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, rewritten or redistributed

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