Over 129 professionals linked to the Islamist group Al Adl wal-Ihssane (AWI) have been victims of a wave of relocations and terminations, since last January. On 20 March 2017, a group of human rights activists, lawyers, and journalists gathered at the office of Moroccan Association for Human Rights (AMDH), in Rabat, in order to discuss the situation and agree a solidarity action plan. Notable leftist figures such as Khadija Riyadi, head of the AMDH, Fouad Abdelmoumni, secretary-general of Transparency International-Morocco, Ali Anouzla, editor of the famous news website Lakome2, and lawyers Abdelaziz Nouayidi and Abderrahim Benameur all deplored the massive termination decisions, and pledged solidarity with the victims. A committee, headed by Khadija Riyadhi, was formed by the leftist figures to support the professionals concerned. The terminations have included, so far, 93 education inspectors, headmasters, and principals; 15 civil servants from the ministry of agriculture, 5 in the finance sector; 4 in the transport sector, 5 in Telecoms, to name a few. The lawyers at the press conference explained that some decisions on relocation or termination had no legal basis, whereas others were justified by protecting the public interest. There even reports about cases of termination of professionals who are already in retirement. Not only professionals were concerned by the relocations and terminations, a number of AWI graduates who passed teaching certification exams and have started teaching this year have been suspended as well.

AWI and other analysts think that this wave of terminations is the Palace’s response to the renewal of rapprochement between AWI and leftist political parties and labour unions, over the last four months or so. In late December 2016, AWI invited figures of opposition leftist parties and trade unions to its annual conference marking the fourth anniversary of the passing of their leader Sheikh Abdessalam Yacine. The conference aimed at mending fences between AWI and leftists, who had joined their efforts during the 20 February Movement, in 2011, but thereafter had divergent positions. Leftists put on the table, again, the position of IWA in regard to their political change strategy, freedoms, civil state, and the shape of the state AWI seeks. Following this conference, attended by political and opinion figures from outside Morocco, AWI launched a series of public meetings on the theme: dialogue and the necessity of joint action, with opposition leftist political and civil society groups. Observers think the authorities have chosen this period of political power handover and the political vacuum left by the inability of political parties to form a coalition government in order to sanction the Adl wal-Ihssane group.

Lakhdar Ghettas

Links for more information:
https://goo.gl/UZHPZQ (press conference at AMDH, 20 Mar. 2017)
https://goo.gl/rJlKQd (Leftists-Islamists joint action dialogue meeting, Dec. 2016)
https://goo.gl/cQVT4X (AWI-leftists dialogue meeting, Tanja, 6 Jan. 2017)
https://goo.gl/xzmBHP (AWI-leftists dialogue, Fez, 9 Jan. 2017)

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