Even in Francos Era There Were No Such Sentences Zefzafis Father

Rabat – Ahmed Zefzafi, the father of Moroccan activist Nasser Zefzafi, has spoken about the heavy sentences given to Hirak Rif protesters on Tuesday night.In a statement to Spanish news outlet El Pais, Ahmed said he was grateful for people who stood against the verdicts and heavy sentences of the Casablanca Court of Appeals.The court pronounced a total of 260 years of imprisonment for the 54 convicted activists. Nasser Zefzafi, as well as three others, received the court’s harshest sentence of 20 years in prison. Sarcastically criticizing the sentences, Ahmed said: “I am very happy because I live in a country of joy.”Ahmed added that he does not “care about anything as long as we have the support of all the Moroccan people.”Surprised by the sentences, Ahmed said that “even in the era of Franco, there were no such sentences,” referring to Spanish general Francisco Franco, who ruled Spain from 1939 to 1975.After his brief statements, Ahmed said that “it is better” for him to remain silent.On Wednesday, the families of the activists visited them in the Oukacha Prison in Casablanca.Angry about the decision of the court, the parents shed tears and consoled each other, holding out hope that after the appeal the court will review the sentences given to their relatives.The activists’ defense team has ten days to appeal the court’s sentences.Said Benhemmani, a member of the activists’ defense team, criticized the sentencing, emphasizing that the team was “surprised by these convictions … [the] sentences are very severe. We have ten days to appeal. We will first consult with our clients before making any decision.”The activists were found guilty of several heavy charges, including participation in unauthorized demonstrations, which broke out in the northern Al Hoceima province between 2016 and 2017.