Lalla Joumala Alaoui
Ambassador of his Majesty the King of Morocco
To the Court of St James
EMBASSY OF THE KINGDOM OF MOROCCO
49 Queen’s Gate Gardens
London SW7 5NE
3 December 2012
I write to express my deep concern at the current situation of ALI AARRASS, who remains in the prison of Rabat-Salé pending his appeal to the Cour de Cassation against his unjust conviction. Ever since the visit to him in September by the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture, Juan Mendez, following which Mr Mendez reported on the routine use of torture against national security suspects, Mr Aarrass has been subjected to physical and psychological pressure from the prison authorities. His health needs are not being met and his physical and psychological health have as a result deteriorated.
These matters are clearly of grave concern.
I include below for your information a translation of part of the petition which Mr Aarrass’ lawyers have recently sent to the UN Committee Against Torture:
In order to ensure that the applicant can enjoy fully his right to petition the Committee, the applicant respectfully requests the Committee to seek, as a matter of urgency, an assurance from the Moroccan government that he is not subjected to further reprisals and that it takes all necessary measures for his protection.
In this respect the applicant wishes to suggest the following measures to ensure his security and his psychological stability:
– Request the government to permit M. Aarrass access to necessary health care, and in particular, to allow him to consult an opthamologist, a dermatologist, a dentist, a men’s health specialist and a psychiatrist (if possible Dr Benyaich, insofar as he has the applicant’s confidence, which is vital in such a delicate area)
– Request the government to give the applicant access to the results of medical tests performed, in particular blood tests already taken;
– Request the government to transfer M. Aarrass to a penal establishment closer to Melilla, where his nuclear family lives, so as on the one hand to facilitate family visits and to permit monitoring of the applicant’s physical and psychological health with a view to ameliorating it, and on the other hand to remove the applicant from the officials who have imposed pressures on him;
– Request the government to authorise visits from the applicant’s Belgian lawyers, for the same purpose;
– Request the government to authorise the members of the NGO Arab Commission for Human Rights, Mme Violatte Daguerre and/ or M Luk Vervaet to visit the applicant with the same objective, to end the applicant’s isolation;
– Invite the government to notify the applicant’s lawyers of any measures placing the applicant in solitary confinement or any other disciplinary procedure, in order to allow the exercise of rights of defence;
– Request the government to forbid the presence of third parties during interviews between the applicant and his lawyer Me Cohen;
– Request the government to authorise the applicant to correspond freely with his lawyers and eventually, with monitoring, his family, friends and supporters;
– Invite the government to restore to the applicant the items recently confiscated from him.
I wish to associate myself fully with the sentiments expressed in this letter and would respectfully ask that you urge your government to fulfil Mr Aarrass’ very modest requests as set out here.