Maati Monjib: a Moroccan Sakharov

Maati Monjib: a Moroccan Sakharov!

The historian and activist of the Human Rights, Maati Monjib, is under hunger strike since 7th October, after the refusal of the authorities to allow him leaving the country on two occasions: for Barcelona in September and for the Norway in October. The Moroccan academician is accustomed, indeed, to participate in international forums, for years. As national Chairman of the NGO Freedom Now and his initiatives to encourage the Kingdom investigative journalism, make him a priority target of the authorities and especially of the cabinet of the shadow that decides to silence any critical voice in Morocco. We are witnessing the same scenario already used to neutralize other emblematic cases, as Ali Anouzla following his courageous coverage in, July – August 2013, of the grace Royal, and less shameful, of the Spanish paedophile, Daniel Galvin, author of rape and abuse on 11 Moroccan children aged 2 to 15 years old (read: The other most recent case is that of satirical journalist Ali Lmrabet prevented to have his certificate residence in his hometown, Tétouan.  The authorities fearing him resume service, after ten years of prohibition on practising journalism in Morocco (2005-2015), have argued that he did not reside in Tetouan. Quite simply. After almost 2 months of hunger strike front of the Human Rights Council in Geneva, June-July 2015, and following an international mobilization, Ali Lmrabet was finally allowed to withdraw his passport at the Consulate in Barcelona. Regarding what he may resume his activity in Morocco, there are betting that other obstacles, administrative procedures and vicious methods will arise on his path. If for these courageous feathers, to inform their fellow citizens and the world did not have any price, for shadow councelors, with a long arm, all means are good to stop them. This is the equation currently posed in Morocco where the case of Maati Monjb represents the climax. Here there is simply to prevent an academician, recognized and appreciated inside and outside the Morocco to exercise his scientific activities in international forums. This method reminds us that used in the 1970s by the former Soviet Union to prevent Academician Andrei Sakharov to participate, as a physicist, in scientific forums organized by his Western peers. These methods have not prevented Andrei Sakharov to receive the Nobel Peace Prize in 1975, nor the USSR to collapse 16 years later. To meditate!

The argument put forward by the authorities speaks about financial irregularities in the management of the Ibn Rochd centre managed by the academician, through a SA and therefore subject to the administrative audit of the State, according to the mandate of the Prosecutor. The official press has jumped at the opportunity and swung,  in concert: dilapidated millions, family-run, non-compliance of employees, questionable aid from Foreign Countries with all that it entails as suspicion on the security of the State, etc… Please hold your nose if one reads disputes briefs declined by some official editorials in the lynching of the Academician. This reminds us that there still a road for Morocco to respect the freedom of expression. This is Dreyfus without francs “J’accuse”, at least in the Moroccan press. Fortunately, his support Committee and intensive national and international mobilzation lead finally to raise the head because, ultimately, his fight is ours, all without exception. Moroccans have need, and are proud, of their academics that shine, activists of Human Rights and journalists who remind the State its obligations to respect the right of expression and the right to inform, with one requirement: the Truth.

Note that six politicians, foreground, have condemned this process and called for the free movement of the Academician: Abderrahmane Youssoufi, companion of Mehdi Ben Barka and first Prime Minister of the alternation under Hassan II, Mhammed Boucetta, former Secretary-General of the party of Istiqlal, PJD leader, former Foreign Minister, Saadedine El Othmani, Ismail Alaoui, Honour President of the PPS, Ben Said Ait Idder, former resistant and Nabila Mounib, General Secretary of the PSU. Welcome their initiative.

Under international pressure and a national mobilization, relentlessly, the authorities have announced, this Thursday, October 29, via a decision of justice, the suspension of the prohibition to leave the territory for Maati Monjib. It is a first victory, but vigilance must be as academician seeks the abandonment of this prohibition and stopping harassment he experienced, he and his family since several months. Indeed, since his involvement in the NGOs Freedom Now, in April 2014. He announced, in conjunction with his doctors, the suspension of his hunger strike, but he is ready to resume until his rights, movement and expression, are fully recognized and respected. To follow

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