Ibn Rushd Fund for Freedom of Thought

Ahmed Marzouki

Ahmed Marzouki was born in 1947 in Bouajul, a village in northwest Morrocco. His father worked at the local court after having studied law at the University of Qarawiyyin.

After primary school in the neighbouring town of Ghafsai, Marzouki attended secondary schools in Fes, Rabat and Meknes. Subsequent to this, he went to the agricultural college in Meknes and finally decided for a military career, so started his formation at the military academy.
In 1969, he received the rank and became  an instructor at the Royal Military School of Aharmoumou where he taught non-commissioned officers. In 1971 he was among the officers involved in the army putsch / coup d'état Skhirat. He was sentenced to five years in prison. Instead of detaining/jailing him in a regular prison, Marzouki was kidnapped along with the other jailed officers from on high and subsequently jailed in the prison of Tazmamart. Marzouki spent 18 years in total isolation there – isolated both from the world and other prisoners. 30 of the officers died from these unhuman conditions. There was no medical care, no rights for the prisoners and no human rights.

It was only after the intervention of humanitarian organizations and reports on the prison in the media that Marzouki and the other surviving prisoners were set free in 1991.

Marzouki then went back to school to get his university entrance diploma and began to study law. He graduated in 1998 and married the same year; later he became the father of three children. He wanted to work as a lawyer but did not get a licence. When it became known that he wanted to write an eyewitness report on the prison of Tazmamart, he was interrogated by the Morroccan secret service.
In the year 2000 he published his book „Tazmamart: cell No. 10“  in French (tazmamart cellule 10) and 2002 in English.
Marzouki translated "Korridor", the book of a former fellow inmate Abdul Fattah Fakhani from French into Arabic, as well as the book 'Guilty until their innocence is proven' by the journalist Khalid al-Jami‘i, and a children's book bearing the title "Mohammed Abd al-Karim al-Khattabi, Hero of the Rifatlas-Region" by the writer Zakiyya Daoud.

His second book 'The Crisis of the Void' appeared in 2012.

He regularly publishes articles in regional and international journals.