Casablanca, Morocco -
Chakib Alkhayari (a.k.a. El-Khiari) is a Moroccan journalist and human rights activist who was wrongfully imprisoned in Morocco on February 17, 2009. After a royal pardon, he was released on April 14, 2011. Mr. Alkhayari is the founder and president of the Rif Association for Human Rights (l'Association du Rif des droits de l'homme" or "ARDH"), an organization that campaigns for better treatment of migrants from sub-Saharan Africa in Morocco and better policing of the drug trade in Morocco's northern coastal Rif region, among other issues. Mr. Alkhayari is also a member of the International Federal Council of the World Amazigh Congress and an outspoken advocate of the rights of the indigenous Amazigh (Berber) community in the region. Prior to his arrest, Mr. Alkhayari publicly denounced corruption relating to drug trafficking in Morocco, making numerous statements accusing Moroccan authorities of complicity in the drug trade and laxness in combating it. In addition, he spoke out against the mistreatment and abuses of migrants by Moroccan and Spanish security forces at the border between Spain and Morocco. On February 21, 2009, Mr. Alkhayari was charged with "gravely offending state institutions". Since April 14, 2011, Mr. Alkhayari's voice for human rights has been restored in Morocco. Photo courtesy of http://www.kabyle.com/sites/default/files/chakib_el-khayari_b.jpg
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