Kalaat Magouna Prison

October 1980 - June 1991

Ninety kilometers to the south-east of Ouarzazate City, the Sizif Rock is both a symbol of beauty – offering a panoramic view of a valley of roses and palms – and a symbol of sorrow, for behind it lies a building in which many lost their lives. Although it could be mistaken for any standard office building, it was actually a place for arrest and mandatory extradition. It was, therefore, highly incongruous in the area.Moroccan people associate with the highly acclaimed Festival of Roses (Bayad, 2015).Klaat Magouna is located in a calm village set amid the mountains in the province of Tinghir. However, the view also provides a tragic picture of the cemetery of the detainees who perished in the Kalaa, the center of secret detention and exile during the years of torture in Morocco.
The center was used for detention and forced exile from 23rd October 1983. It was the date when Agdez detainees were deported to Kalaat Magouna. It was closed after the survivors were freed on 12th June 1991. Kalaat Magouna, originally a French military base still belongs to the administrative office of the Royal Armed Forces. The original detainees were transferred from Agdez to Kalaat Magouna by
the auxiliary forces in vans guarded by Royal Army. The detainees were estimated at approximately 400 in number, most of them from the Sahara region. They were charged as separatist activists.
The severe detention conditions, including poor nutrition and lack of health care, led to the deterioration of their mental and physical health. Many chronic diseases took roots, such as asthma, arthritis, and urinary and genital infections. These conditions, combined with the harsh climate, resulted in the death of 16 victims. The cemetery in
which the dead were buried is located 200 meters from the detention center. It was enclosed by the Committee of Justice and Reconciliation between 2004-2005. The Committee also erected headstones with dates of birth and death.

Castle prison.. hotbed of drunks and vagrants, Hespress, March 10, 2014
Castle prison.. hotbed of drunks and vagrants, Hespress, 10 March 2014