Home » In Morocco, NGOs demand gov’t to stop extradition of Palestinian suspect to Israel
business crime Defence featured Global News Human Right Israel Media Morocco News Politics Scandal War

In Morocco, NGOs demand gov’t to stop extradition of Palestinian suspect to Israel

In Morocco, a local human rights coalition urged Thursday the Moroccan government to not hand over a Palestinian prisoner to Israel after Tel Aviv requested his extradition over bombing allegations.

“The Palestinian detainee’s physical integrity and personal security might be in danger if he got deported. Moroccan authorities, by virtue of their international obligations, and in accordance with what is included in Moroccan law, are responsible for his safety,”  Adel Tshikito, a member of the Moroccan League for Human Rights, told The New Arab.

Nassim Khalibat, a Palestinian from 1948 territories, was reportedly arrested upon his arrival in Rabat six months ago despite the fact that there is no signed extradition agreement in place between Israel and Morocco. It is not clear if Tel Aviv submitted the arrest request via Interpol or directly to Moroccan authorities. 

The 21-year-old man fled Israel last March after being accused of bombing a Ministry of Health facility.

“Khalibat, a resident of the Bedouin town of Basmat Tab’un, along with his brother and another relative, detonated an explosive device at the Ministry of Health in Nazareth on October 8, 2021,” according to the extradition request submitted by the Israeli Ministry of Justice on 28 June. 

The other two suspects were apprehended and are currently standing trial in the Nazareth District Court.

The motive for the bombing is still unclear. An initial investigation by Israeli authorities suggested it may have been “a result of a dispute rather than an Israeli-Arab issue.”

Israeli media said Khalibat, “who has health issues, endures challenging detention conditions in a prison outside the Moroccan capital of Rabat.”

This is Israel’s first request for extradition from the North African nation since the signing of the Abraham Accords three years ago.

A Moroccan judge has reportedly ruled in favour of the extradition but the Moroccan Prime Minister Aziz Akhannouch has yet to sign the extradition order. 

Rabat hasn’t commented yet on the matter.

Local human rights organisations stress that the extradition of Khalibat will be against Morocco’s penal code and the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, which Rabat signed in 1993.

“No State Party shall expel, return (“refoulement”) or extradite a person to another State where there are substantial grounds for believing that he would be in danger of being subjected to torture,” states Article 3 of the international convention.

Meanwhile, Article 721 of the Moroccan Criminal Procedure Code says authorities are obligated to refrain from extraditing a person if his race, religion, nationality, or political opinions, may aggravate his situation and put him in danger

According to the Moroccan League for Human Rights, those conditions apply to the case of Khalibat considering his political, religious and racial background, and the torture he may face in Israeli prisons. 

In February, local and international human rights groups failed to stop Moroccan authorities from extraditing Saudi citizen Hassa al-Rabea to his country.

On February 6, 2023, al-Rabea was extradited from Morocco despite repeated civil society calls for his release and non-extradition to Saudi Arabia, where he faces credible risks of persecution and other serious for reasons related to his religious beliefs and his family’s history of political protests.

Meanwhile, two years after his arrest in Casablanca, Uyghur activist Idris Hasan (Yidiresi Aishan) remains under threat of extradition to China where there are substantial grounds to believe that he would be in danger of being subjected to torture for his political activism.

Source: The New Arab