Communiqué of the « February 20th Movement for Switzerland »

The February 20th Movement (Mouvement du 20 février)  for Switzerland,  held a meeting on April 14, 2012, during which the group put together a wide-ranging and detailed appraisal of the past 14 months of mobilization that citizens carried out, cutting across different constituencies and viewpoints, in different cities, with a view towards the establishment of a true democratic state in Morocco, based on its legitimate claims.

The communiqué follows herewith:

Despite the huge marketing campaign orchestrated by the palace’s sounding boxes with regard to the March 9th speech, we would point out that the speech was never inspired by wisdom, nor by the desire to respond favorably to the Moroccan people’s claims, and still less by the king’s willingness to amend his powers in accordance with and to the benefit of a true parliamentary monarchy.

On the contrary, the events of these last few months as well as the royal maneuvering, allows us to see clearly that it was merely a question, in reality, of a new trick motivated by the regime’s instinct for survival and its wish to put up collateral to the international community which, eyes riveted on the Jasmine Revolution and the Arab Spring, was demanding structural reform.

Far from the cries for reform by the February 20th Movement and its propositions, the monarchy went on, as is its custom for the last half a century, to present a constitutional reform crafted by those individuals converted to its cause and absolutist policies, and who, going through the motions of removing, via certain articles, power from the king, gave them back to him by implementing other articles further on in the document.

Despite the protests that followed one after the other, demonstrations growing out of community organizations, political personalities, or everyday citizens, the treachery was brought to a conclusion, with a constitutional referendum put in place even with the abstention of an overwhelming majority of the population, and which was passed off by the regime as a personal plebiscite for the king. Then the legislative elections were held in the same conditions of heavy abstention, thereby skewing their results.

After 100 days in power, the new government, dominated by the Islamists of the Party of Justice & Development, has not wavered fin relying on the almost genetic obligation typical of Alaouite power, to repress its opponents. The number of wounded, victims of the brutal repression by the security forces and the number of arrests and unfair trials of the activists in the Mouvement du 20 février and elsewhere — of whom the head of government, still involved in the electoral campaign, said moreover, that they were acting within their rights to march peacefully, for their demands — have accelerated.

Mr Benkirane seems to have forgotten his promises to fix, fight, or put an end to injustice and corruption, even going so far as to allow the right to strike, an issue that is current today.

The publication of the book by Ali Amar and Jean-Pierre Turquoi, « Paris-Marrakech », and then the book by Catherine Graciet and Eric Laurent, « Le Roi prédateur », proved useful because they took up again and condensed what the Moroccan people already knew about the practices of the regime and about those in particular of Mohammed VI, his family, his friends and his collaborators.

By revealing, in the former book, the connection, complicity, and networking of the Moroccan regime with the political class and with French multinationals, and by describing in the case of the latter book, the predatory, corrupt, nepotistic and brutal character of the Moroccan monarchy, the two works appear to have definitively managed to irritate both the new government and the shadow government, confirming their exclusive role, which they claimed from the very first day, as defenders of the monarchy. Repressive measures, which continued to increase ever since, are evidence of this tendency.

The Movement déclares its deepest indignation for the violent acts committed by the security forces, against citizens who protest peacefully, in accordance with authorized demonstrations, sit-ins, marches, or strikes.

The movement, unconditionally, supports all the victims of this repression and denounces the conditions in which the activists are being held, without exception, whether they belong to the February 20th Movement, to the alternative movement for individual rights (MALI), to feminists movements, to the Amazigh (Berber) movements, to the native Sahara people’s movements, to the Islamist movement, or any other citizen movement opposed to despotic rule.

The Movement  is enraged by the numerus injustices and discriminations that continue to strike at Moroccan women and the cynical use of religion and ignorance to treat them as secondary citizens. The Movement particularly condemns Article 475 which rewards rapists by allowing them to marry their victim, thereby sending other criminals a signal that they can expect total impunity.

The Movement insists on the urgency of saving the 27 activists who have been carrying on a hunger strike at the risk of their health, and indeed, their life, without the Moroccan government having deigned, as late as today, to look into the conditions of their arrest and the judgement that was made, nor to undertake an investigation of the allegations and constant accusations of violence committed against them by the police during the course of their interrogations, or the abuses by their prison guards right in their cell-blocks.

The Movement, strongly, insists on the totality of its claims which have not, up to now been satisfied, despite what the government says to the contrary:

– the dissolving of the parliament, the resignation of the government and the right to direct universal suffrage, to a constituent assembly charged with the task of devising a new democratic constitution to be submitted to a popular referendum and which would guarantee the separation of powers, the independence of the judiciary system, the end of the concept of the sanctity of the king, the recognition of Tamazight (a Berber dialect) as an official language of the country as is the case for Arabic, the largest autonomy of the regions in the management of their economy, their security, their budget and their policy, the recognition of the right to hold protests, to freedom of expression,  freedom of the press,  freedom of reunion,  freedom of enterprise, of artistic creation, of opinion, of religion, of conscience and of the gender equality.

– Seeking out, arresting, and judging those responsible for blood-crimes, disappearances, and torture against Moroccan citizens for the past five decades

– Seeking out, arresting, and bringing to justice all those who were involved in economic crimes, whether it was a question of plundering riches or the national heritage, of misappropriation of public funds, of exporting capital or laundering funds derived from such activities, and the restitution of assets and monies stolen from the public treasury.

– Freeing all political prisonniers, whether it be due to personal opinions or beliefs, relinquishing all pursuit and charges directed against them and the rehabilitation of all those who were the object of illegal or unjust legal proceedings, their appropriate compensation and the compensation of their families for the suffering to which they were subjected.

– The end of répression and the use of state security forces against citizens who are peacefully demonstrating and the reinstatement of their primary duty which is to insure order and safety, to aid and assist each citizen equally, whatever his origin and his position in Moroccan society.

– The abolition of laws adopter in order to legalize the excesses of security measures and abuse by authorities, similar to the law on terrorism.

– The end of privileges, of impunity, and of the absence of auditing the accounts of the head of State, the government, and the political power elite.

– The abolition of the national Charter of education, training, and programs of urgency. In view of the disdain shown by Moroccan authorities, the Movement has decided to continue the fight until it is satisfied that the ensemble of its claims are addressed and has adopted the following decisions:

– Communication, through all means available and as widely as possible, at the international level, in order to denounce the nature of the Moroccan regime founded on repression, injustice, the illegal accumulation of wealth by the king, his family and the highest authorities of the State, at the sacrifice of the prosperity and development of the country and its citizens.

– Creating a watch-dog committee empowered to collect and disclose — in all written, audiovisual, and electronic media and alongside of international groups defending human rights, the ONG, politicians, governments, and foreign pressure groups — any information that might serve to enlighten the international community on the reality behind the Moroccan regime and on the abuses that it inflicts on our fellow citizens via its police force and its meting out of justice.

– Creating, short-term, a non-governmental organization which will be devoted to observing the situation of human rights in Morocco and the defense of the interests of its citizens, victims of the judicial machinery put in place by the Moroccan regime, denunciation to the relevant international forums of those responsible for the violence, corruption, and economic pillaging of the country’s riches.

– The désignation of M. Ahmed Benani as spokesperson for the Movement for Francophone Switzerland and of M. Kacem El Ghazali for Germanophone Switzerland.

Lausanne, April 18, 2012

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