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Press release on allegations of degrading treatment

Commissioned by the Chairperson of the National Human Rights Council (CNDH), a delegation of the Regional Human Rights Commission in Laayoune-Sakia El Hamra Region (CRDH), composed of its presidents and two of its members, conducted a visit to the local prison of Es-Smara, Morocco, on 29 November 2021, to investigate into allegations of cruel and degrading treatment of the prisoner Mr. Yahdih ElSabi.

This visit came after the CNDH has received such allegations.

At the hearing, Mr. Yahdih ElSabi explained to the CRDH that the prison conditions are in conformity with the specified rules, but he insisted on his request to change his medical glasses rapidly, and to see a specialist doctor to adjust an artificial hearing aid. He also requested additional time for phone calls and family visits.

The prison administration briefed the CRDH team on the inmate’s health conditions. It also confirmed that the administration responded to all his requests for medicines after medical consultation inside the prison. Regarding the prisoner's request for referral to a specialist doctor, the prison administration stated that the request is being implemented.

Regarding the extension of family visits, the prison administration also stated that those visits are conducted while respecting the precautionary measures related to COVID 19, and there is no discrimination between the inmates regarding access to visits or phone calls.

The CNDH gave an individual hearing to the detainee without the presence of any prison staff or guard. In this regard, the CNDH recommends that an appointment with a specialist doctor be scheduled as soon as possible.