Lettera all’ambasciatore del Marocco presso l’Unione Europea sulla situazione di Younous Chekkouri

Testo della lettera inviata all’ambasciatore del Marocco presso l’Unione europea e sottoscritta anche da Barbara Spinelli, riguardante la situazione di Younous Chekkouri, cittadino marocchino ed ex detenuto di Guantanamo, imprigionato senza formali accuse e presunta vittima di tortura.

H. E. The Ambassador of the Kingdom of Morocco to the EU

Mr Menouar Alem

Dear Ambassador,

We are writing to you with regards to the case of Younous Chekkouri, a Morroccan citizen and a former Guantanamo detainee, where he was held without ever charges having been brought against him and where he was a victim of torture. After having been cleared by the United States of America, Mr Chekkouri was sent back to Morocco on September 16th, 2015. His return to Morocco was agreed predicated on assurances by the Kingdom of Morocco that it would not be bringing charges against him and that the Kingdom accepted the assessment by the USA authorities that Mr Chekkouri indeed posed no threat and had not committed any offences.

Regardless of these diplomatic assurances, worrying news arrive from Morocco indicating that Mr Chekkouri is in fact held in prison since his return to his country (over the 70-day period over which the Kingdom of Morocco had agreed not to hold him in detention) and that no formal charges were, as of yet, brought against him by the Moroccan judicial authorities and without having been permitted to meet with his lawyer. A hearing is scheduled for January but, according to Moroccan law, it seems that the proceedings could go on for as long as twelve months, regardless of whether or not the State decides to lodge charges against him.

I would, therefore, like to impress on you the seriousness of what is at stake here:

a) The Kingdom of Morocco is, blatantly and knowingly, violating an agreement on diplomatic assurances with the US State Department, which was conditional on Mr. Chekkouri’s return to Morocco. This violation of diplomatic assurances bears great risk to Morocco ́s credibility in the global fora and, especially, regarding its strategic allies (the USA, but also the EU and its Member States, who may be, from here on end, feel restrained from extraditing any Moroccan citizen to its territory for fear of retribution and unlawfull actions).

b) Should the Moroccan judicial authorities decide to bring criminal charges against Mr Chekkouri, it will be violating not only the diplomatic assurances given to the US, but also perpetuating the injustice and human rights violations against Mr Chekkouri, a victim of unlawful detention and rendition, a victim of torture, all of which have left him with serious mental health issues. It is important to note that Mr Chekkouri has initiated a hunger strike that will undoubtedly further deteriorate his physical health.

c) Mr Chekkouri has already been through enough of an ordeal, having been unlawfully detained for forteen years by the United States. Never did the US bring any charges against him, for which reason it decided that he was to be released and returned to his country. To prolong this injustice is not only inhumane and degrading, it is a clear violation of international human rights.

This is why, we, as Members of the European Parliament, urge you to forward this letter to you government and judicial authorities and employ your best efforts in preventing any further injustices against Mr Chekkouri and any further damages to Moroccan credibility, by expediting the legal process and dismissing any charges that may be brought against him.


Ana Gomes, MEP
Richard Howitt, MEP
Barbara Spinelli, MEP
Petras Austrevicius, MEP
Marie-Christine Vergiat, MEP

CC: H.E. The Ambassador of the United States to the EU; the High Representative of the EU for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy.