EXTERNAL (for general distribution) AI Index: MDE 29/01/95
UA 24/95 Death Penalty 31 January 1995
MOROCCO Stéphane AIT IDDIR - French/Algerian national
Radouane HAMADI - French/Moroccan national
Hamal MARZOUG - Algerian national
Stéphane Ait Iddir, Radouane Hamadi and Hamal Marzoug were sentenced to death
in Fès on 28 January 1995.
They were tried with 14 other defendants in connection with several armed attacks
in November 1993 and the summer of 1994 in Casablanca, Fès and Marrakech,
including the armed attack on a hotel in Marrakech in August 1994 in which
two Spanish tourists were killed. The defendants were alleged to have carried
out these attacks on behalf of militant Islamist groups. Six of the other
defendants were sentenced to life imprisonment and the remaining defendants
were sentenced to prison terms ranging from six years (suspended) to 10 years.
Two other main accused were not present at the trial and are currently detained
Amnesty International has expressed its concern at allegations by some of the
defendants that they had been tortured whilst held in illegally prolonged garde
à vue detention, and is concerned that the trial may not have been conducted
in accordance with international standards for fair trial.
There is no right of appeal, but the defendants can seek a review by cassation
in the Supreme Court, which rules only on procedural matters and does not
re-examine the facts of a case. If the death sentences are upheld by the Supreme
Court, the last recourse for the defendants is to present a plea for clemency
to King Hassan II.
The last execution in Morocco was carried out in August 1993, after a period
of 11 years in which none had taken place. The death sentences passed on
Stéphane Ait Iddir, Radouane Hamadi and Hamal Marzoug are the first to have
been pronounced since the commutation of 195 death sentences in March 1994.
There are believed to be 17 people currently on death row in Morocco.
RECOMMENDED ACTION: Please send telegrams/telexes/faxes/express and airmail
letters either in French, Arabic, English or in your own language:
- expressing concern that Stéphane Ait Iddir, Radouane Hamadi and Hamal Marzoug
have been sentenced to death, and (1) calling on the authorities to urge King
Hassan II to commute the sentences if they are upheld by the Supreme Court
and (2) urging King Hassan II to commute these death sentences if they are
upheld by the Supreme Court;
- stating that Amnesty International publicly welcomed the commutation of 195
death sentences in March 1994 and urging that all outstanding death sentences
be immediately commuted, as a further step towards abolishing the death penalty
- explaining that whilst Amnesty International does not condone acts of violence
and recognizes the right of governments to bring to justice those responsible
for such acts, the organization unconditionally opposes the death penalty in
all cases as the ultimate form of cruel, inhuman and degrading punishment and
a violation of the right to life, as guaranteed by the International Covenant
on Civil and Political Rights, to which Morocco is a state party.