Rabat – Morocco’s Ministry of Human Rights has firmly rejected Amnesty International’s recent analysis of a trial in a Casablanca court which sentenced 53 people involved in the Hirak protests in 2016 and 2017 in Al Hoceima province.
The court handed four activists heavy sentences of 20, including the prominent leader of the movement, Nasser Zefzafi.
Amnesty said in its analysis of the trial on December 17 that it had“serious flaws.”
“The first trial proceedings resulted in a gross miscarriage of justice,” said Amnesty’s Middle East and North Africa Director Heba Morayef in a statement, ahead of the appeal hearing set for December 17.
In a statement from the Moroccan ministry yesterday, authorities “expressed their absolute rejection of the statement made by the organization because of its lack of objectivity and neutrality.”
The statement added that the analysis did not comply with the organization’s international standards.
The ministry said that Moroccan authorities are “very surprised” by Amnesty’s position that “Morocco’s judicial authorities must ensure the appeal trial does not descend into another charade marred by torture complaints and other fair trial violations.”
The ministry said that the position is “blatant interference” and a “clear violation of the most basic international standards.”
Morocco’s Ministerial Commission on Human Rights will issue a detailed response to Amnesty’s allegations in the coming week.