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Morocco Closes Controversial Mausoleum Bouya Omar

Controversial Mausoleum Bouya Omar

Rabat – Moroccan Health Ministry launched last week Operation “Al Karama (Dignity)” to close the Bouya Omar Mausoleum.

Seventy-one mentally ill patients were evacuated on Thursday, June 11 as part of the first stage of the operation launched by the Health Ministry, with the support of local authorities, elected officials, civil society, and the families of patients.

The operation is expected to last four weeks and aims to replace the Mausoleum with a modern institution.

Minister of Health Houcine El Ouardi kept his promise to close the notorious facility located in Kelaât Sraghna, where hundreds of mentally challenged patients and drug addicts are often kept in chains, completely cut off from the outside world.

A convoy of ambulances was dispatched to the location in order to transport patients to psychiatric hospitals in different cities throughout the country. Police and auxiliary forces were also sent to the Mausoleum to contain possible clashes with the families of patients.

In an interview with MAP news agency, Minister El Ouardi said his department mobilized 34 doctors and 122 nurses, and the operation has a budget of MAD40 million.

A survey on the Bouya Omar Mausoleum over a period of more than six months has found that more than 700 people were interned in there in “miserable conditions” where they underwent “practices violating human rights.”

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