Originally published on August 22, 2014, at ForceChange.com
Target: King Mohammed VI of Morocco
Goal: Investigate the security forces responsible for torturing prisoners
Moroccan authorities detained a man for twelve days and tortured him in order to extract a confession from him. According to Amnesty International, the security forces severely beat the prisoner, gave him electric shocks, and burned him with a cigarette. Although the Moroccan government is reluctant to investigate the perpetrators of these crimes, they must launch an investigation into those guilty of committing torture.
Ali Aarrass was arrested and tortured for twelve days until he gave law enforcement officials a false confession to end the constant pain and suffering. To force a confession out of Ali, the security forces engaged in such harsh interrogation techniques as suspending him from the ceiling, whipping him, beating the soles of his feet, waterboarding him, electrocuting his testicles using a car battery, and burning him with cigarettes.
The United Nations Convention against Torture reported that the Moroccan authorities violated articles of the Convention. The UN Special Rapporteur on torture and an independent forensic doctor visited Ali while he was imprisoned and confirmed his claims of being tortured. The Moroccan government rarely investigates torture claims against its own law enforcement officials and has been reluctant in prosecuting those responsible for torturing Ali to force a confession out of him.
By signing the petition below you will urge King Mohammed VI of Morocco to investigate the torture of Ali Aarrass and punish the security forces that abused him.
Dear King Mohammed VI,
Both Amnesty International and the United Nations Convention against Torture have found your law enforcement officials responsible for torturing a prisoner named Ali Aarrass. Officials severely beat him, suspended him from the ceiling, burned him with cigarettes, and electrocuted him in order to make him sign a false confession. Ali possesses the scars and medical records to verify that your security forces abused their power and tortured him.
To deter further abuses, you must investigate the perpetrators of these crimes and actively prosecute them. Videotaping interrogations will reduce the temptation for security forces to torture detainees. Providing immediate access to legal counsel would also allow innocent suspects a chance to protect themselves against forced confessions written under duress.
Allowing torture to produce confessions will only foster a corrupt justice system. Although no government has created the perfect judicial system, torturing suspects is not the answer. By engaging in enhanced interrogation techniques, you will be unable to distinguish the guilty from the innocent. End practicing torture and investigate Ali’s case before your government imprisons another innocent person.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Magharebia via Flickr