124 request royal pardon for terrorist activities
With the approach of Ramadan, 124 requests for royal pardons were filed by inmates presented as Salafists in prison due to terrorist activities.
According to the Spanish news agency EFE, Abdelkader Shadly, a Salafi leader, said the royal cabinet requires guarantees proving that there is no risk of recurrence of the inmates.
After the Casablanca bombings May 16, 2003, 1200 Salafists were jailed. The 124 of them who seek the grace of Mohammed VI could be “a supporting force to the monarchy,” says Abdelkader Shadly.
Of the 124 persons concerned, is the Belgian-Moroccan Abdelkader Belliraj, sentenced in 2009 to life imprisonment. He was head of a team of 37 members who planned to make attacks in Morocco and Europe.
EFE recalls that “in the past, many Salafist ex-prisoners clearly distinguished themselves from extremism and proclaimed their loyalty to the monarchy and the plan to incorporate some political parties or create their own. ”
Today, 975 Salafist detainees are held by the Defence Committee of Islamist detainees. The majority of them have been sentenced for having joined the commandos for joining Syria or Iraq or threatening the interests of the Morocco.
Last Novermber, Moroccan King Mohammed VI issued an exceptional pardon yesterday for 4,215 prisoners, including 37 involved in cases of terrorism and 215 prisoners originating from the areas disputed over with the Polisario Front.
With regards to the pardon issued to the prisoners involved in extremism and terrorism cases, the ministry said: “This royal gesture came in response to the repeated pardon requests by the said inmates since 2005 and which were not approved until this exceptional occasion.”
A statement issued by the Moroccan Ministry of Justice and Freedoms said: “On the occasion of the 40th anniversary of the Green March, HM King Mohammed VI granted his pardon, exceptionally, to 4,215 inmates in penitentiaries.”