Moroccan historian Monjib launches hunger strike

Moroccan historian Monjib launches hunger strike
The 60-year-old Maati Monjib launched a hunger strike on Thursday, a statement by his supporters confirmed.

2 min read
The 60-year-old announced the hunger strike on Thursday [Getty]
A Moroccan historian and rights activist who was jailed in January has begun a hunger strike, supporters and a legal representative said.

Maati Monjib, 60, declared that he had begun the hunger strike on Thursday, a statement by his supporters said on Friday.

Morocco's prisons authority described reports of Monjib's hunger strike as "false".

But a member of his legal team, who said he visited Monjib in prison on Friday, told AFP that the activist had indeed embarked on the course of action.

A Moroccan court sentenced Monjib on January 27 to one year in prison for fraud and undermining state security, at a hearing his defence team said they were not told about and one the accused purportedly did not attend.

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His hunger strike was prompted by his "abusive" arrest, his conviction in absentia and a campaign of "defamation by official media" targeting him and his family, Monjib said in the statement.

"My critical writing concerning the political system and the police and activities on behalf of human rights" were at the root of "my persecution", the historian added.

Rights group Amnesty International in January urged Morocco to release Monjib and drop all charges, saying the kingdom was on a "relentless quest" to curtail his right to freedom of expression and "bully him into submission".

Agencies contributed to this report.

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