Rabat – Whilst the series of arrests of the Al Hoceima activists continues and the verdict of detainees is yet to be announced, their families appeared at Oukacha prison in Casablanca on Friday, in heartbreaking scenes, waiting to visit their relatives.
The families travel nearly 1,100 kilometers, round trip, between Al Hoceima and Casablanca in order to gather with their relatives for a duration of 10 minutes in the visitation room.
The photos, shared widely on social media in a display of support for the detainees and their families, show parents, brothers and sisters of the prisoners looking exhausted while lying on the ground, surrounded by baggage and the supplies that are taking to their confined relatives.
Moroccan journalist, Mohammed Ahaddad, who originally posted the photos of the families on his Facebook account, said the following caption: “They cross all night long to see their children and brothers… they are resting from the tiredness of the trip… they are waiting to embrace the prisoners for ten minutes and then cross 12 hours more to return to Al Hoceima.”
Plea to Extend Visitation Duration
The families have sent a request to Driss El Yazami, President of the National Council for Human Rights (CNDH) to extend the visit duration for as long as possible.
“We call you to immediately intervene so as your legal position allows you to do, in order to put an end to our suffering and extend the duration of the visitation and work to improve conditions of their detentions,” the families said in the letter.
The families added that the 10-minute duration does not allow them to converse more with their relatives.
“Given the long distance between Al Hoceima and Casablanca […] and the visitation duration that does not exceed 10 minutes – it is not even enough to hug and cry because of the great longing for [our detained relatives],” the families explained.
In response to the plea, El Yazami sent back a letter, expressing his readiness to lend a helping hand to ease conditions for the families and facilitate the visitation process.
The CNDH stressed that they would respond to the bid of the families, saying it would coordinate with the General Directorate of Prison Administration and Reintegration and the committee that represents the detainees’ families.