Sunday, May 10, 2009

Tazmamart, A Story of Horror

I watched each and every episode of “Shahid Ala Asr” on Aljazeera channel featuring Ahmed El Marzouki’s, (former political prisoner) testimony of the horrendous 18 years of his imprisonment in Tazmamart prison along another 57 military prisoners, from which 28 only emerged alive…and quite frankly I cannot find the right words to express the mixed feelings I grew inside me while watching and living each and every moment Ahmed El Marzouki was describing about their life and struggle inside the cell.

El Marzouki’s descriptions were highly detailed and extremely vivid to enable us visualizing the brutal life of “cave men” as he calls it in a forgotten deserted that lasted a period of 18 years. It’s extremely hard for me to process it all in my head. It’s just hard for me to believe that such brutality took place on the ground of a country I dearly loved and believed in with every fiber in my heart. No…sorry let me reword it, what’s harder for me is to believe that some people hide beasts inside them that know nothing about humanity.

The 58 political prisoners had no major contributions to the planning of the attempted coups against the king of Morocco, Hassan II. They were following orders and had no preconceived idea they were ordered to attack the king. Even though some of them were sentenced for 5 years only, Hassan II sent them in Tazmamart prison, a prison built specially for them lacking basic means of survival to teach a lesson they never forget.

I highly salute Ahmed Mansur for stepping out to interview former prisoners of Tazmamart and both Ahmed El Marzouki and Pilot Saleh Rachad for their courage to share bitter injustice that took place in now demolished Tazmamart prison.