Antwerpen, 13 September 2010
Dear Nicholas Cage,
Herewith I would like to gratulate you with your appointment as Goodwill Ambassador for Global Justice for the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime.
I request your urgent action concerning the case of Chakib El Khayari, president of the Human Rights Association of the Rif region in Morocco.
Currently, Chakib El Khayari is detained in solitude in the prison of Oukacha in Casablanca. In June 2009, he has been condemned to three years of prison for having “offended Moroccan authorities” . This sentence was confirmed in the court of appeal on Tuesday 24 November 2009.
Prior to his detention in February 2009, El Khayari has made several declarations in the international media and in conferences in Europe, questioning the efforts of Moroccan authorities in the fight against illegal drugs from Morocco to Spain. On the year prior to his detention, El Khayari successfully initiated a debate in Moroccan media on how to improve the approach to cannabis production and trade.
Chakib El Khayari is known throughout the world for his defense of the cultural rights of the Amazigh people and the African migrants who travel through the region on a daily basis, on their way to Europe. He is also known for his declarations with regards to the level of corruption, arbitrarity and impunity in the services that are engaged in the fight against drugs in Morocco.
We suggest you to do whatever may contribute to put pressure on the Moroccan authorities so that Chakib El Khayari is released as soon as possible.
This could be for instance to carry out a visit, accompanied by a lawyer, to Chakib El Khayari in the prison in Morocco and afterwards make declarations in the Moroccan press. You could also sign and send a letter to the Moroccan King , if possible with the support of more celebrities.
Thanks very much for your urgent attention to this matter.
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