Morocco dissident historian to be provisionally released: lawyer

Morocco dissident historian to be provisionally released: lawyer
2 min read
Maati Monjib, 60, was taken into custody on December 29 as part of a preliminary investigation into money laundering.

Moroccan historian Maati Monjib has been on a hunger strike for 19 days [Getty]
Moroccan historian and rights activist Maati Monjib, who has been on a hunger strike for 19 days, will be granted provisional release after three months in prison, his lawyer said on Tuesday.

"The investigating judge has decided to provisionally release him on bail, and steps are underway to get him out of prison," said Mohamed Messaoudi, adding that his client's health was "good even though he has lost 12 kilos" (26 pounds).

Monjib, 60, was taken into custody on December 29 as part of a preliminary investigation into money laundering.

In parallel, a Moroccan court sentenced him in January to one year in prison for fraud and undermining state security, as part of a trial that opened in 2015.

His defence team said they were not told about the hearing and Monjib purportedly was not in attendance.

He has repeatedly denounced his "wrongful arrest" and has denied the charges against him.

Moroccan judicial authorities have said Monjib received a fair trial.

Read also: Morocco human rights activists targeted by 'malicious' Israeli spyware

Earlier this month Monjib, who is also a French citizen, filed a complaint in France including over "psychological harassment" in relation to his detention.

His French lawyers said at the time that he was "one of the most emblematic critical voices of the Moroccan regime, denouncing in particular the grip of the security services on political life."

His supporters in Morocco and France have repeatedly demanded his release, calling him a "prisoner of conscience" and expressing worry about the effect of his hunger strike on his health.

In a statement on Facebook in November saying he had contracted the novel coronavirus, Monjib said he also suffered from heart problems and diabetes.

His lawyer said Tuesday that he was "in good spirits", adding that he hoped Monjib would face "a fair trial".

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