The Case of Shaykh Abu Mouadh Nourdine Nafi’a and his wife.
The joint committee received this letter from Shaykh Abu Mouadh Nourdine Nafi’a. He wrote it while he was being held in Kenitra central prison, in which he was subjected to barbaric torture after he was arbitrarily transferred on the 9th of October 2010. He was on hunger strike since the 6th of December 2010 while he was there until he was between life and death. He wrote this letter then speaking about the kidnapping he and his wife have been through and detention and torture in Temera secret detention centre and other secret centers.
He is now is solitary confinement, cut off the world around him in Toulal 2 prison, Meknes. He is one of those accused of being behind the Sala prison clashes (16-17/May/2011) or what is known by “Salé Zaki prison riot”
All praise is due to Allah and peace and blessings be upon his messenger, his family, his companions and those who adhere to him.
I am shaykh Abu Mouadh Nourdine Nafi’a, who is currently held in Kenitra central prison. Prisoner number: 26512, I am the one signed below, Nourdine Nafi’a who is sentenced to 20 years based on fabricated evidence under the guise of “combating terror”. I reiterate that I am innocent of all charges against me. I am a victim of American policies in the region. To clarify this I will outline what I and my wife have been through of suffering and violations in the dungeons of the secret services.
I am a Moroccan citizen, a member of the Islamic movement since the 80s. A Muslim, Sunni, following the Quran and the noble traditions of the prophet, according to the understanding of our pious predecessors such as Imam Malik, Shafi’i, Ahmed, Abu Hanifa may Allah have mercy upon them. I migrated from my homeland in 1988 to Afghanistan for the intention of joining the “Jihad”. It was not possible to go to Palestine, between me and it were thousands of barriers because of the “Arab cordon states”. My first stop was Europe and after repeated attempts I managed to travel to Pakistan in 1991, then to Afghanistan after the fall of the communist government. I made that country my homeland. In 1998 I left Afghanistan for Syria, Damascus, where I married the sister of Yassine al-Shaqori who is held is Guantanamo may Allah hasten his release. I began to trade to support my family, travelling between Syria and Turkey for trade.
In the very same year we found out that my wife had a tumor in her head. Hence I used to travel from one hospital to another and from country to another. I increased in my trade transactions and interaction to be able to pay off treatment and travel costs. This continued until I managed with the help of other business men to set up an import and export office. In (Year not mentioned) a doctor advised that it was necessary for my wife to have laser treatment to remove the tumor or she would be in danger of losing her sight. They advised me to travel to Jeddah to carry out the operation. We tried but we couldn’t get a visa for Umrah for Ramadhan 1423 AH, November 2002CE. Some tradesmen advised us to travel to Mauritania where citizenship is relatively easy to get and then to travel to Saudi during the hajj season.
That is what we did. We travelled to Nouakchott via Casablanca on the 19/11/2002, with authentic papers from the Moroccan embassy in Ankara. We did not think that Jihad was a crime and terror. Nor did we think that a “Mujahid” would become a criminal, scoundrel, deviant…etc. Nor did we think that the wife of the “Mujahid” deserves to be kidnapped and terrorized and held in a solitary confinement in a secret detention centre for no reason other than that she is a wife of a “Mujahid”. We were kidnapped in Nouakchott airport. Their secret service questioned us for two days in which we declared we are on hunger strike.
The following night we were taken to the runway and made to board a small Moroccan aircraft. We were accompanied with a group of security officials. As soon as we landed in Rabat airport we were transferred into cars to Temera secret detention centre. We were questioned in a calm manner with occasional subliminal threats and at times apparent threats. Quite often they would threaten me by saying: ‘do you know what the secret service means?’, or ‘now you and your wife are fine’. We were taken to a hospital to have an MRI scan. We were told if we do not cooperate everything will change and you will not imagine the harm that wall befall you. They used to always repeat ‘No one knows your whereabouts except Allah the officials and interrogators’.
The interrogations were nearly on a daily basis, morning and night for forty-three days approximately. I contacted my wife over the phone over this period three times only. The first was after the initial two weeks she told me she was fine and in solitary confinement. She added she was interrogated four times. She informed them that our life is absolutely normal… [Incoherent text in original], however they did not believe her.
The second time was on the fortieth day. This was after an official came to me he seemed to be very uneasy I could sense it from the tone of his voice. He asked: ‘did your wife used to suffer from possession or was sorcery used against her?’ Then I knew this was his introduction to remove all accountability on his part from what had happened to my wife. I contained my emotions and accepted the request to speak to my wife. I understood from her that she had a breakdown and she was under immense pressure to ask me to cooperate with the requests of the officials. If I didn’t she was threatened with a great evil.
True to their threat they took my wife to an underground cell that has no windows or ventilation. The cell was besides the clinic for treating those tortured (Sad Irony!), so she could hear their screams and cries. She would hear the screams of a fellow female detainee and the babbling and screams of another detainee who was mentally destroyed. The strange thing was that this cell had a U.V light lamp in it. This light made my wife feel as if her brain was boiling.
Another fixture they had was a speaker that would blast out filthy music, filled with expletives, it would also sound abuse, threats of rape, that she will receive her portion of torture soon. They even told her that I divorced her and other things. This would go on for hours. Until she broke down and lost her mind after just forty-three days of detention, and five weeks of hunger strike.
She did not change her clothes for the duration of the time nor did she remove her head scarf. She did not sleep well except for about 2 hours a day out of fear for herself. She did not sleep laying down once but instead leaning on a corner of the cell.
I was told to contact her for a third time on the phone, it was clear to me after the call that she was not aware of herself. I tried to join her but the officials declined and I was told to wait. In that night I heard her screams, I nearly lost my mind! I began to shout and cry and invoking Allah against them. I was repeating: ‘I am overpowered, so help me!’ They came to me that night and they were fearful. They promised me that an official will meet me in the morning. True to their word after salatul fajr one of them came to me informing me that I will be taken to a place where I could be with my wife.
Midnight that day we were taken from Temera secret detention centre to a secret apartment in Marrakech. I was taken to a room in the first floor which is locked from the outside, my wife followed me minutes later. My wife was extremely pale and had lost a lot of weight. She was screaming, calling out for help and crying out my name. She was shivering of fear and would glance at the ceiling for a moment then at the window then she would curl up in a corner of the room. She didn’t recognize me to start with as she believed I was killed.
She would hear frightening noises and would imagine predatory animals, snakes and rats are about to attack her and are all around her. We were banned from having any medical treatment for security reasons. I would give my wife tablets that the officials got from a pharmacy. These tablets were to treat nervous break downs. I would recite over her [ruqiyah] on a daily basis.
I couldn’t eat in the first few days out of fear the food would be poisoned. My wife’s hands had blood stains all over as she tried to commit suicide by slitting her wrists in the last days of her detention in Temera. The signs of this remain until this day. A security envoy visited us during our stay in this room and told me that our release was dependent on if my wife’s state improved. This was in early January 2003.
When the state of my wife improved (praise be to Allah) they then told us the state of the country’s security did not permit us to be released! They told me that I could be targeted and harmed. They refused to release my wife also because she may leak the news, the news we were kidnapped. If that would to happen they would have to kidnap us again. I had two choices either to remain with my wife for an unspecified time or to return back to Temera secret detention centre.
We began a hunger strike demanding that we are released or at least my wife, that we are given the time for our release, that we are given the reasons for our kidnapping and to allow us to get medical treatment etc. One of the officials came to me and I understood from him that this delaying (in answering our demands) is because they want some concessions, if not then they would plot against me (fabricate a case).
I was threatened with twenty years imprisonment (this is what I was sentenced to!) then I would be assassinated and that would be the end of it. So it would seem the time I would be sentenced to in prison was premeditated. We were on hunger strike for fifteen days, by then exhaustion and hunger had overwhelmed us. One of the officials who was heading the kidnapping procedure from Nouakchott to Temera secret detention centre, came to me and told me I have two choices: either that I remain in prison till the Iraqi crisis is over, this was on March 2003, or that I would be handed over to America and shipped off to Guantanamo.
To note the high-ranking officials do not want me to remain in Morocco if I am released. As for the possibility of me remaining in Morocco, then it is still under consideration and nothing has been finalized in this regard. I told him: ‘So our detention is indefinite?’ He replied that they are waiting for the right time and perhaps its a few weeks away. After this we was told that if we persist on our demands my wife will be in great danger and I would be returned back to Temera where they would make me believe my wife was free when in fact she is being held in an unknown location.
The tragic attacks of 16 May happened and I was none the wiser concerning it. They turned the lights off during the night and in the day they confiscated the television saying there was a problem in its electrics. We heard that a bloody event took place by overhearing the guards speaking in the bottom floor. During these days I fell ill quite severely. They refused to get a doctor as usual. I suffered from heart problems and numbness in my right half and nervous blackouts… There was no one to answer me.
After this my wife also fell badly ill. She would lose her sight from time to time until she had heart complications and the signs of a nervous breakdown began to show on her. Then they brought a doctor over who specializes in illnesses pertaining to the heart and nervous system. We spent the summer in one closed room it was more like a sauna. On the night of the 21/July/2003 I was informed that we will be transferred to a more spacious place and better than the one we are currently in, thereafter we will be released.
They took us out of the room one after the other, they blindfolded me and for the first time they handcuffed me from behind. They placed my head between my knees then I knew this was treachery. We got to Temera secret detention centre, in that same night I asked about my wife they told me I will see her before she is released in a weeks time. Also that they are completing procedures to have her released. As for myself, I was not convicted of any crime however the attacks of 16th May changed everything. The officials, laws and attitudes all changed.
So I must be patient for a few more days… In the very same day I heard a woman screaming and crying during interrogation, I was deeply affected by it. I remembered the state of my wife so I began to shout and bang on the metal door of the cell until I nearly lost consciousness. The guards came with one of the interrogators they assured me my wife is safe and that she is in a wing far from the interrogations and torture.
They then transferred me to a cell that overlooks the torture and interrogation chambers. I heard that which would make ones hair go grey. I heard the orders for men to sit on glass bottles, batons and other objects that are inserted in their rears. I heard the beatings and electrocutions. They would scream till they lost their voices and most of them would fall unconscious. I could no longer bear to either sleep nor eat.
I went on hunger strike and waited for my turn to be tortured. I wished that I was cut up piece by piece in exchange that my wife would not be harmed. I would distract myself and say the best of all women in paradise, all were harmed, and all praise is due to Allah. I fell ill those days and suffered from the pains of hunger during the hunger strike, the screams of the brothers tortured and the cries of the sisters. In addition my wife’s fate was unknown to me. This haunted me to the extent I nearly lost my mind, if not for the mercy of my Lord.
After three weeks I was taken out frail and weak, I was barely aware of anything. They told me I was going to be released, I asked them about my wife they said she was in her father’s house. They blindfolded me and placed in front of me some papers with my name written on the bottom of each of them. O could not move my right arm because it was partially paralyzed I still suffer from this paralysis till now. I was told to sign it although I did not know what it contained.
After this I was handcuffed and taken to a place in the company of some other brothers whom I have never known before. Before I knew it I was in front of a man who was falsely accusing me of great matters. When they removed the blindfold off me I was shocked they handed me a blank paper and instructed me to sign it. I did not know what to do or in whose presence I was in. The man told me do you know where you are? I said no obviously, he said you are in Rabat court of Appeals, and I am the investigative judge and shall hand you to the custody of the local prison of Sala.
In Sala prison I was stripped of my clothing for a search. Then I was put in solitary confinement, barred from receiving visitors, reading the Quran aloud, having a Quran and having my break etc. As for the food then even the rats that filled the place would be repulsed by it. As for the guards they were from different institutions some were (SMS) others DST [Direction de la Surveillance du Territoire]. I was put to trial late September 2003, it was a mock trial.
It lacked all conditions of a fair trial. I was tried based in the reports the DST provided. No evidence or previous admission of guilt or any witnesses were needed. I was convicted by the use of the anti-terror legislation and was found to be part of a group, which in my knowledge and experience of Jihadi groups does not exist. It is called “The Moroccan Islamic Fighting Group”. I was found guilty along with other individuals whom I know none of.
They stole me and my wife’s money, defamed me and threw me in Kenitra central prison so that I face another tragedy in addition to the hefty sentence, restrictions and humiliation. I learned from my wife when she visited me the first time in Sala prison that she was released one week after me from Temera secret detention centre.
She said she broke down again while she was there. She was threatened and warned she cannot speak to the media about her ordeal. They still continue in their sea of lies, kidnapping the innocent with no evidence. Defaming me and arresting people under the guise of, they are members of “The Moroccan Islamic Fighting Group”. This fabricated name used only for the exchange of intelligence with other countries. And due to this many families are exiled and broken in many countries and in Europe.
I take this opportunity to stress my innocence of all the charges against me. And I put forward my testimony in this time, to the architects of these violations and to the “Justice and Reconciliation Commission”. I only complain of my suffering and my grief to Allah, And it is Allah (Alone) Whose help can be sought against that which you assert.
Abu Mouadh Nourdine Nafi’a