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AI calls on Morocco to drop unjustified charges against Brahim Amrikli

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El-Aaiun (Occupied Territories), 27 September  2020 (SPS) - Amnesty International has demanded, for the second time in less than a month, that the Moroccan occupation authorities immediately drop the "unjustified" charges against journalist Brahim Amrikli.
"The Moroccan authorities must immediately drop the unjustified charges against citizen journalist Brahim Amrikli," the Organization said in a statement, considering that "the circumstances of Ibrahim Amrikli's arrest, interrogation and indictment suggest that he was targeted for his work as a committed journalist and human rights activist."
Member of the Nushatta Foundation established in 2013, a Saharawi youth organization that monitors the human rights situation in Western Sahara, Brahim Amrikli has covered demonstrations and also worked on documentaries, such as a report on the Bou Craa phosphate mine in Western Sahara, Amnesty International recalled.
The prosecutor at the Moroccan court of first instance in occupied El-Aaiun accused, on May 17, Saharawi journalist Amrikli violating the regulations relating to the state of health emergency, under the decree-law on health emergency adopted in March 2020, and "insulting public officials", under article 263 of the Penal Code.
At its first hearing on 7 September, the Court of First Instance of El-Aaiun decided to postpone the trial until 28 September, next Monday.Amnesty responds to Morocco, reminds it of its grim human rights record
Amnesty said Brahim was arrested by four policemen in the occupied town of El-Aaiun, who forced him into a police vehicle, on the pretext of violating the imposed state of emergency due to the spread of the "Coronavirus".
The journalist was arrested "while he had a travel permit with him" and "had even suffered ill-treatment while being detained at the police headquarters".
Amnesty International's report also referred to the case of the arrest of Saharawi journalist Essabi Yahdih, founder of the Algargarat media organ, on 1 July 2020 in the occupied city of El-Aaiun, confirming that he too had been arrested for his media activities.
The Moroccan occupier systematically harasses Sahrawi journalists, imposes a blockade on the entire region and even prohibits delegations from going there. (SPS)