Rabat- Just a few weeks after Human Rights Watch and Reporters Without Borders released negative reports on journalistic freedom in Morocco, the U.S. Department of State has submitted a new report that reveals many civil liberties violations in the kingdom.
Unlike the HRW and RWB reports, the US State Department’s latest report of Human Rights Practices uses a more positive language; however, it reports a negative record of human rights practices in Morocco.
The report began by hailing Morocco’s improvement in terms of protecting immigrants and refugees, stating that “the government encouraged the return of Sahrawi refugees if they acknowledged the government’s authority over Western Sahara…The government continued to make travel documents available to Sahrawis, and there were no reported cases of Sahrawis being prevented from traveling.”
Still, it found corruption in all branches of government. More specifically, “Corruption was a serious problem in the executive branch, including police, as well as the legislative and judicial branches of government,” according to the report.
The report said that Morocco’s laws grant freedom of speech to citizens, yet, “the government abridged civil liberties by infringing on freedom of speech and press, by limiting freedom of assembly,”
According to Akhbar Alyaoum, Minister of Communication Mustapha El Khalfi said that the US report was “selective.” But a number of Moroccan NGO’s such as l”Oganisation Marocaine des Droits Humains (Moroccan Organization of Human Rights ONDH) and La Fédération internationale des droits de l’Homme (the International Federation of Human Rights FIDH) described the American report as “balanced.”
Mhammed Grine, vice president of the OMDH, said that the report of the State Department is “broadly balanced. It highlights the advanced made while it shows the shortcomings that need to be fixed. The report shows, however, that not everything has gone wrong.”
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