In its “final” decision, the ECHR deemed “ill-founded” the request of Ali Aarrass (59 years old). Because, from the point of view of the magistrates of the pan-European jurisdiction based in Strasbourg, the lack of consular protection is attributable not to the passivity of the Belgian authorities, who have repeatedly requested access to the prisoner, but to the constant refusal of the authorities. Moroccan.
Arrested in 2008 in the occupied presidency of Melilla, Aarrass was extradited by Madrid to Morocco in 2010. Sentenced in 2011 for arms trafficking for the benefit of an Islamist network, he claims to have been tortured to sign a confession, which Rabat has never ceased to deny it. Released in April 2020 after serving his sentence, Ali Aarrass returned to Belgium in July 2020.
In 2013, the UN Human Rights Council called for his immediate release, after concluding that he had been detained on the basis of “confessions” obtained under torture.
During his detention, his lawyers questioned the Moroccan authorities to denounce his alleged conditions of detention, in particular, “isolation”, the lack of contact with his family, insufficient food, no access to healthcare “, indicates the ECHR in a statement.
His counsel also demanded that the Belgian government be granted “consular protection for the Belgian consular authorities in Morocco”, a request which was rejected, before being validated by two Belgian courts.
But the Belgian consular authorities were never able to visit him due to the refusal of the Moroccan authorities who consider that he is a Moroccan detained in Morocco and that he is not the responsibility of a foreign representation of ingest in this matter.
“The Belgian authorities have not remained passive or indifferent”, notes the ECHR. If the “efforts” of the consular agents stationed in Morocco to provide the consular protection requested by the applicant were not successful, this does not result from their “inertia” but from the refusal “systematically opposed” by the Moroccan authorities “who exercised exclusive control over the person ”of Ali Aarrass, concludes the Court, which therefore rejects his“ ill-founded ”request.
Recall that the former emir of the “Movement of jihadists in Morocco”, Abderrazak Soumah, had refuted in statements to MoroccoLatestNews Ar the allegations of torture of the former Salafist prisoner Ali Aarrass.