Morocco has renewed its rejection of Amnesty International’s “false,” “biased,” and “arbitrary conclusions” regarding Morocco’s domestic affairs.
Rabat – Moroccan authorities mentioned Amnesty International annual report, “The State of the World’s Human Rights 2017/2018,” saying that the organization “ignores” the country’s positive developments.
Amnesty International, say Moroccan authorities, brings forth false information and makes it appear as facts.
The NGO mentioned in its analysis Morocco’s bleak record on freedom of expression represented in the arrest and sentencing of journalists and people who express their opinions on social media.
In response, the Moroccan authorities stressed that they do not arbitrarily arrest people like the organization seemed to imply. Instead, they argued, individuals have been arrested for offences such as “incitement of terrorism, rape and other crimes.”
Amnesty’s report also claimed that Moroccans are not free enough to be founders or members of civil society associations.
Moroccan authorities criticized the statement for being “inaccurate.” They pointed out that the report failed to mention that there are 140,000 active associations in the country.
In terms of authorities’ crackdown on freedom of assembly, Amnesty International found only two cases.
Bu tit described the two cases as illustrations of excessive or unnecessary use of force. The two cases were only an exception and not the rule against which to measure the level of freedom of assembly in Morocco, according to Moroccan authorities.
The fact is that no prison sentences have been imposed on peaceful demonstrators, as indicated in the report, but rather on practices and acts against the law.
As for allegations of unfair trials and of torture, the report claimed the courts continue to convict activists after heavy trials, relying heavily on forced confessions. It did not, however, provide any basis or evidence to reach this conclusion.
The trials referred to in the report were not directly witnessed by the organization.
The cases in question are still before the judiciary, which remains the only competent authority to do justice and provide reparation to litigants.
Morocco is making efforts to regularize and integrate migrants by defining a legal framework for migration and asylum. While a number of international human rights groups have applauded Morocco’s humanitarian efforts in the MENA region,, Amnesty International went the other way, according to the Moroccan government.
Amnesty claimed that the authorities had launched a major campaign of discriminatory repression targeting thousands of migrants, refugees, and asylum seekers.
It added that they raided random neighbourhoods and houses occupied by refugees and migrants, and illegally arrested thousands of migrants from sub-Saharan Africa, including children and pregnant women.
Moroccan authorities retorted that this reflected the fact that the organization was not following the country’s actual efforts in this area, including the settlement of the administrative status of migrants and refugees in Morocco since 2013.
Morocco’s response noted that Amnesty did not pay attention to the adequate and qualitative data presented by Morocco in response to the organization’s 2017 annual report.
With regard to abortion and violence against women, the organization should greatly appreciate the adoption of the law on combating violence against women, instead of highlighting cases such as marital rape.
For such cases, Morocco has taken the legislative decision to criminalize all forms of violence against women.
As for the report’s comments on abortion, Amnesty did not take into account the evolution of national laws. It failed to mention the draft criminal law regulating the issue of abortion in a way that takes into account all cases adopted in advanced international comparative legislation.
On consensual sex and homosexuality, the Moroccan authorities considered that equality and non-discrimination had constitutional status.
To protect the psychological and physical well-being of all persons, national laws criminalize all forms of discrimination as well as acts of violence based on sexual orientation and identity.
The authorities also said that protection from violence does not prevent the criminalization of sexual relations outside marriage, which is still socially unacceptable.
Finally, the Moroccan authorities expressed their regret at the double standards when the report dealt with the human rights situation of Moroccan detainees in Tindouf.
Amnesty simply referred to the failure of Polisario to hold to account those responsible for human rights violations committed in the camps in the 1970s and 1980s.
This constitutes blatant ignorance of the daily human rights violations and the tragic and inhuman reality that the inhabitants of the camps are currently facing. Amnesty’s report’s Algeria section was supposed to put its fingers on serious human rights and international law violations in these camps. Unfortunately, Amnesty chose to fire the bulk of its “biased” denunciations on Morocco alone.