The Criminal Chamber at the annexe of Salé Appeal court decided, on Monday, to postpone until January 23rd, 2017 the hearing into the case of the accused in the tragic events, which accompanied the dismantling of the “Gdim Izik” camp.
The court decided to put off the hearing in order to allow the defense to prepare its case, summon an involved individual who was out on bail, and to consider the petition relating to the right of victims’ families to constitute a civil party.
The first session of the trial witnessed a significant presence of the families of the victims of these events, which claimed the lives of 11 members of the security forces and left 70 wounded.
Several human rights associations, NGOs and independent national and international organizations observed the trial.
On February 17th 2013, the Military Court of Rabat handed down prison sentences ranging from life imprisonment to 30 years against the individuals involved in this case and who were sued for “forming criminal gang”, “violence against the public forces which led to the death with premeditation and complicity.”
On October 10th 2010, residents of the city of Laayoune erected a tented camp in the Gdim Izik region to defend legitimate social demands, mainly linked to housing and employment.
According to a local source, the Moroccan authorities initiated a dialogue and presented a series of measures to gradually meet these demands. This initiative had not resolved the situation on the ground.
The Moroccan authorities then decided to peacefully dismantle the camp in order to enforce compliance with the law and preserve public order.
This intervention had given rise to violent attacks by small groups against the security forces with knives, stones and Molotov cocktails. Thereafter, clashes erupted in the city of Laayoune where infrastructure and public property had been set on fire and private property sacked.
The attacks claimed the lives of 11 people among the security forces, including one element from the emergency services, and hurt 70 among the same forces, including several seriously and four among civilians.