Rabat – Moroccan authorities responsible for managing the nation’s prisons criticized the findings of a newly-released 2015 report by the Moroccan Association for Human Rights as filled with “a number of mistakes.” The pointed out that the quality of the report represented how “far” the group is from practicing the “serious rules of responsible human rights work” that it claims to have adopted.
The General Commission for the Management of Prisons and Reintegration added that the group used the defense of human rights as “revenge” and did not prepare its report in an objective and neutral way. As a response to the unfair report, the commission said it has decided to stop working with the association or act according to their demands, a report by Medias24 said.
According to the government agency’s data, no inmates died by to torture or medical negligence in 2015 as shown by the results of the prisoners post-mortem autopsies.
An estimated 85 percent of inmate deaths occurred in a hospital, not in a prison, a Facebook post by the commission that was cited by the Moroccan newspaper, said.
Around 66 percent of the deceased convicts died during a sentence of less than 18 months, which “means that those deaths are unrelated to the circumstance of their arrest, but of illnesses that they had been suffering from before,” the post said.
Responding to the group’s claims that the food the prisoners eat is neither enough, nor of good quality, the commission said it hires private companies to cook meals for the inmates, which it said is an “important field.”
The human rights group’s 2015 report, which was released on April 21st, said the government has not created wide-ranging laws to incorporate the policies that are necessary as outlined by international human rights groups, namely Amnesty international and Human Rights Watch.
The document listed 60 different concerns about the state of the country’s prison and highlighted that approximately 120 prison deaths are caused by “unclear” reasons every year, according to the group’s analysis.
One of the group’s other concerns involved the prevalence of highly-crowded prisons in Morocco. The report claims that a prison in Marrakesh holds more than 2299 inmates even though its maximum capacity dictates it can provide for no more than 700 prisoners. Another prison in Nador hosts 1177 prisoners, but was allegedly at maximum capacity at just 840.