It’s been 15 years. The topic has faded into obscurity, yet millions of Moroccans have indeed been touched by it thanks to a Moroccan YouTuber. Morocco as a whole is rallying on social media today to bring the file forward and identify the guilty parties.
His mother has been searching for proof and clues of her son’s missing in the city of Mohammedia for the past 15 years, despite the hardships.
She was able to reconstruct the facts on her own, do the investigation, cross-check the material, and report it all to the authorities, but all to no use. As per testimonies, hardly none of his efforts were successful in confusing the accused, five friends of his son from “wealthy and influential” families in their city.
The file contains a lot of hidden layers, such as the defendants’ contradictory testimonies, witnesses shifting their stories in front of the police or cameras, former friends who are still shaken up and receiving psychiatric treatment and refusing to speak, and the mother, who believes powerful people are behind the investigation, which is still at a low point.
The heartbroken mother is still seeking answers about the night of March 14, 2007, when she saw her son left in the car with his friends for a classmate’s birthday party.
Challenged today, Thami’s mother, Hayat Bennani, refuses to budge the fight and only demands to know if her son is dead or alive, as well as evidence. She accuses the authorities of “negligence,” “attempts” to terminate the case without further inquiry, and “pressure” to avoid charging and imprisoning the culprits.
This is a horrible and extremely severe scenario, as it is at best a forced disappearance and at worst a kidnapping of Thami Bennani.
Several versions of that night collide in this scene.
That would also imply that no help has been offered to anybody in trouble, that no adult has been contacted, and that the matter of the body not being located has been highlighted. It would also imply that these individuals are guilty of at least two major offenses, namely cold-blooded murder and body disposal.
Thami’s classmates, former high school students who knew him, and his best buddy, when confronted with this story, claim that he had never used narcotics or psychotropic drugs.
Furthermore, the girl who organized his birthday party presented two stories about what happened, one in front of his high school classmates the day after the party, claiming that he had overdosed, and the other in front of the victim’s mother, claiming that his friends “killed” him.
She further stated that they would have “burned” him in order to conceal his identity and “thrown the body into the water” in order to make him vanish forever. She never told the cops about this version of events.
“I’d seen him from distance; he appeared to be a trouble-free young man. People shrank in on themselves after his disappearance, and there were foggy areas surrounding his absence. All I know is that powerful people have masked their trails. “At 17, you can’t really make a body evaporate without adult help,” a witness who met Thami in high school claimed.
The investigation has been transferred to the national judicial police brigade in past years, and effort has been produced, but various expert studies demanded by the victim’s family, including the tracing of calls from this day, have yet to be approved by the courts.
This case, which had been widely publicized for years, had faded from view due to a video on YouTube by “Safaa,” a young Moroccan who is genuinely enthusiastic about criminal acts and disappearances, the file of Thami Bennani has reemerged, and thousands of people who were previously unaware of the case have been deeply moved by the touching story of this mother, now affectionately known as “tati” Hayat.
“I’m bringing you all here for mother love.” The mother wrote, “You are the right hand with which I reach into the darkness, and through divine strength and you, I will eventually untie the illuminating breaches.”
Salut je vous prends tous pour amour maternel.Vous êtes la main droite par laquelle je fouille dans les ténèbres et grâce à la puissance divine et vous je finirai par décrocher les brèches lumineuses.#justicepourthamibennani
— Alami Hayat (@AlamiHayat1) January 22, 2022
On Sunday, thousands of Moroccans used social media to spread the word to as many public figures, influencers, actors, comedians, and singers as possible. All of the persons who might be able to help resurrect this case have been contacted discreetly, and their websites have been swamped with information.
Whether on Instagram, Facebook, Tiktok, or Twitter, accounts dedicated to Thami Bennani, such as “Let’s find thami” created to assist the victim’s family, gained over 24,000 followers in just a few hours, Safaa’s video received over 1.5 million views in just three days, the hashtag #justicepourthamibennani trended on Twitter in the Morocco category, and celebrities began sharing photos, messages, and videos of the missing, associating
Images and articles about Thami were also shared on national “buzz” profiles with a big North African following, with an average of 1 million followers, and on North African pages like “North African United,” which unites Moroccans, Algerians, Tunisians, Egyptians, Libyans, and others together.
Now, a social media campaign has been established to change his profile picture to that of Thami, and the public, outraged and moved by the story of this young man who could have been their brother, is demanding answers. Concrete.
“It’s wonderful to see that!” One family, one hand! “All together for justice,” a little girl tweeted, accompanied by a screenshot of Thami’s Instagram profile images.
— Kawtar El Barkaoui (@kawtar701) January 24, 2022