October 11, 2015
Richard Greeman of the Victor Serge Foundation sends an update about Maati Monjib. Monjib is the publisher of the Arabic edition of Marxism and Freedom by Raya Dunayevskaya. He also edited it and supervised its translation into Arabic:
My close friend and colleague, Maati Monjib, the embattled Moroccan historian and human rights activist, has once again begun a hunger strike to protest being denied the right to leave Morocco. This time he was invited to attend an academic conference in Norway, to speak on his specialty, African history. Prof. Monjib has been under attack since April, when he became President of “Freedom Now,” which defends the rights of Moroccan journalists. Please see details below.
An International Support Committee is being formed under the Presidency of Abdellah Hammudi (Anthropologist, Princeton) and scholars from Africa and the Middle East. U.S. signatories include Noam Chomsky (MIT), Stuart Schaar (CUNY), and Richard Greeman (Columbia, Wesleyan, U. of Hartford, ret.)
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BACKGROUND: Monjib is active internationally as a scholar, having taught in the U.S. and participated in conferences throughout Europe, North Africa and the Middle East, where he is known for his articulate defense of the values of democracy, human rights, and internationalism. Monjib holds doctorates from Paul Valéry University (FRANCE) and Dakar University (SENEGAL). He is professor of African History at Rabat, where he also directs the Ibn Rochd [“Averroes” in English] Center.
Monjib has been under constant attack since last April when he and other journalists founded “Freedom Now.” The Monarchy government immediately deprived their Association of legal status by simply refusing to process their application, and as its President Monjib has been the object of a systematic campaign of outrageous personal and political slander in the press of political parties close to the Throne.
On Aug. 31, 2015, returning from France, Prof. Monjib was stopped at Casablanca Airport and informed he was “wanted for harming state security.” On Sept. 14, he was interrogated by the National Police and accused, among other things, of “destabilizing citizens’ allegiance to the institutions.” On Sept. 16, he was blocked at the Casablanca Airport on grounds of “National Security” and prevented from flying to an academic forum in Barcelona, whereupon he began his first hunger strike. On Sept. 19, the Ministry of Interior published a denial that Monjib was barred from leaving the country, but at the same time accused him of financial irregularities, sparking a campaign of slander in the pro-government press: a blatant attempt to turn a political case into a criminal case!
You can also help by sending a message to the Moroccan Ambassador: see URLs and sample message below.
The Monarchy is sensitive to international opinion, and you can put pressure on by writing to the Moroccan Ambassador in London, Washington, or wherever you live. Here’s a sample message you can copy/paste right now:
Your Highness/Your Excellency:
“Scholars and journalists around the world are disturbed by reports of harassment of our respected colleague Maati Monjib. Please reassure us that his honor as a scholar and right to travel, speak and write freely will be protected by the Moroccan Monarchy.”
Respectfully yours, etc., etc. (They’ll get the point).
H.H. Princess Lalla Joumala Alaoui
Ambassador of His Majesty the King of Morocco to The Court of Saint James’s
Ambassador to Washington Hon. Rachad Bouhlal