Skip to main content

Moroccan leftist dies after two-month hunger strike

Mustapha Meziani, has died after two months of being on hunger-strike after protesting his detainment
Potests in front of the Morocco embassy in Paris after an editor was jailed over a controversial video (AFP)

A leftwing student jailed in the central Moroccan city of Fes has died after more than two months on hunger strike, a local NGO said on Thursday.

Mustapha Meziani, 31, died on Wednesday night in a Fes hospital after refusing food for 72 days. On 10 July, Meziani was put under arrest after allegedly being accused of the "premeditated murder" of student Abderahim El Hassnaoui, charges Meziani denied.

Meziani claimed that his arrest was linked to his far-left activism with the group Annahj democrati al Qaidi, and went on hunger strike to protest his arrest and his university's refusal to reinstate him, according to Moroccan media.

The Moroccan Association of Human Rights has blamed the death of Meziani on the Morrocan government due to neglect and poor conditions under which his detainment occurred, according to reports, 

The student had been arrested during an inquiry into clashes between Marxist and Islamist students at a university campus in the town in April that left Islamist student Abderrahim Hasnaoui, 21, dead.

Meziani was admitted to hospital on 19 July and his health worsened on 4 August when he was "placed on life support," according to prisons authority DGAPR.

"The prison's management did everything possible to convince him to stop his hunger strike," the DGAPR said, adding that he had been given permission to carry on his university studies while in prison.

Meziani's family said the body had been taken to Casablanca for an autopsy.

Swords and knives were used in the 24 April confrontation on the campus at Dhar El-Mehraz, the last stronghold of the far-left in Morocco.