Taroudant, Morocco- The High Commission of the Civil Registry confirmed on Monday the freedom of Moroccans to choose the names of their children, provided the names do not breach morality or public order, without distinction between Arabic, Amazigh, Hassani, or Hebrew names, and in accordance with the provisions of the law relating to civil status.
According to the Maghreb Arab Press, the procedure of choosing names was confirmed at a meeting on January 23, 2014 of the High Commission of the Civil Registry, chaired by Abdelhaq Lamrini, historiographer of the Kingdom, spokesman of the Royal Palace, and President of the High Commission of the Civil Registry.
The meeting also focused on the examination of complaints filed previously against the refusal of some Amazigh names by the offices of civil status, according to the same source.
Officers of civil status are also required to demonstrate a “maximum flexibility in the processing of applications submitted to them and ensure to provide all facilities to the citizens, the same source added.”
The High Commission of the Civil Registry called on the officers of the civil status to withdraw the lists of names published under the old law and to comply with the provisions of the circular of the Ministry of the Interior No. D3220, published April 9, 2010, on the choice of names.
Anir, Sifaw, Tifawt, Thiyya, and Bahac are some of the many Amazigh names that had been unauthorized in Morocco.
The Amazigh families have been denied the right to name their children some Amazigh names since 1996, when a circular was sent to Moroccan civil status registry offices banning Amazigh names.
Since then, activists have led a fierce campaign against what they call a “racist and discriminatory law” targeting Amazighs, and Amazigh associations have been putting pressure on Moroccan authority to recognize Amazigh names.
Edited by Melissa Smyth
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