Morocco protest leader ‘hurt’ inside prison

morocco_Protesters.jpgThe leader of protests over economic woes in Morocco’s Rif region, Nasser Zefzafi, was hurt inside prison, according to prison authorities on Sunday.

In June, Zefzafi was sentenced to 20 years in prison for leading protests against economic and social problems in the country’s Rif region.

In a statement, the General Commission for Management of Prisons (GCMP) said Zafzafi asked on Saturday for medical help due to leg pains.  GCMP said Zefzafi “deliberately hurt himself by hitting his hand against the edge of an office and the wall” as the medic was helping him.

The statement said Zefzafi has been transferred to hospital for medical treatment. It remains unclear how bad his injuries.

A group of people hold banners during a demonstration against the prison sentence for Rif Movement leader Nasser Zefzafi and members along with him, in front of the parliament building in Rabat, Morocco on 27 June 2018

The GCMP said Zefzafi has committed “acts in violation of law with the intent of causing unrest and chaos”.  The GCMP narrative could not be verified by an independent source.

During a trial session in April, Zefzafi claimed that he was subject to “physical and psychological torture and humiliation”.

The Moroccan government, for its part, said “the judiciary must take full responsibility” in verifying Zefzafi’s claims and must investigate and “reach the truth”.

From time to time, allegations of torture and ill-treatment during arrest have caused debate in Morocco.