Mohammed Hajib

 

Background

Mohammed Hajib was born on 23 May 1981 and holds a German and a Moroccan passport. In 2009, he travelled to Pakistan with the Tablighi Jamaat, a peaceful and well-known Islamic missionary organisation.

Arrest in Pakistan

He was arrested in Pakistan over his visa. He was never charged nor interrogated for four months. He then undertook a hunger strike and was promptly released without any charge. He bought a flight ticket and flew back to Germany on 17 February 2010.

Stopover to Germany

Upon his arrival to Germany, he was approached by German policemen who strongly advised and encouraged him to go and visit his family in Morocco. They would have told him things along the lines of “you have been jailed, you should relax and spend time with your family”. His wife did not know if the initial plan of her husband was to stay in Germany or to fly directly to Morocco (personal note: it is strange for him to fly back to Germany and then to Morocco. The issue needs to be inquired further. When did he buy his ticket to Morocco? Did he buy it under the pressure of the policemen? Was he interrogated at length by them?)

Arrest and disappearance in Morocco

Mohammed Hajib was meant to arrive at Casablanca airport at 12pm on 18 February 2010 where his family was waiting for him. He was actually arrested by four plain clothes officers and put in a car without explanation. He was then taken to a police station in Casablanca. His family was left without any information for four days before they received a call informing them of the arrest of Mohammed hajib.

Interrogation

He was interrogated for nearly three weeks and was subjected to torture. He was mainly asked about his time in Pakistan. His wife initially said that he was not asked anything about Morocco or Germany. However, she said that he was given a list of people, mainly Moroccans and Algerians. This list included two of his German friends (of Moroccan descent). It is not sure that they have a strong relationship with Morocco. Those two persons were not arrested in Germany afterwards. On the ninth day, he forced to sign confessions he could not read. Nearly three weeks after his arrest, he was presented to the investigative judge Chentouf who explained that there were allegations against him (financing and belonging to a terrorist group). He was then sent to Sale prison.

Hunger strike and trial

On 10 May 2010, he went on hunger strike to protest against the conditions of detention in Sale prison. His hunger strike lasted 48 days. On 24 June 2010, he was brought to the court on a stretcher and sentenced to 10 years (he was tried alone). In October 2010, the court of appeal confirmed his 10 years sentence. (note: Mohamed Hajib was visited by German diplomats. He was told that the German councillor in Pakistan had been given a document by the authorities stating that he had not been involved in any illegal activities in Pakistan. He requested this document and was answered positively. However, the German authorities then denied the existence of this document and deprived him from it during the appeal. It is only recently, after the family hired a lawyer in Germany that the German authorities accepted to hand over the documents.)

Disappearance and torture

In May 2011, the Moroccan army attacked Sale prison following a protest by the detainees themselves against their condition of detention, the lack of due process and torture. The attack left many inmates injured. In retaliation for the protest, several detainees were taken to an unknown location. Mohamed Hajib, the first to have stood vocally for the detainees’ rights by climbing on the walls of Sale prison to express their demands, was one of them. He was actually taken to Meknes where he was heavily tortured and reappeared on 8 June 2011. He was visited by a member of the German department of justice who noted his bad state. Eleven days after his second disappearance, he was transported to the hospital. The German diplomat then reported the suspicions of torture to the Moroccan authorities. Since then, the Moroccan authorities have refused to grant Mohammed Hajib any consular visit.

Reappearence

Mohammed Hajib was then taken back to Sale prison. He was reportedly abused physically at least twice since then (in August and October 2011). He was meant to appear another before the court of appeal. However, the hearing was postponed to 9 January 2012. Human Rights organisations have also submitted the case of Mohamed Hajib to the Working Group on Arbitrary Detention, as well as to the Special Rapporteur on Torture and the Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms while countering terrorism. The Moroccan Supreme Court also sent a letter to the family, stating that his sentencing was unfair.

Appeal

His sentence was brought back to 5 years in appeal. However, he was still to appear before the Court for the peaceful uprising in which he took part. He was later sentenced to 4 years for his role in the uprising. It seems that the sentences will run concurrently.

UN Group on Arbitrary detention

At the end of August 2012, the UN group on arbitrary detention ruled that Mr Hajib’s detention was arbitrary as solely based on torture evidence. As a result, the UNGAD requested that the Moroccan government releases Mr Hajib immediately and provide him a suitable compensation. Note: the family was only made aware of this decision at the end of November.

Condition

Mohamed Hajib was released and returned to his family in February 2017.

NOTE: CAGE represents cases of individuals based on the remit of our work. Supporting a case does not mean we agree with the views or actions of the individual. Content published on CAGE may not reflect the official position of our organisation.

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