Questioning allegations of torture in Morocco, the United Nations Commission on Human Rights received explanations at the GANHRI 2019 annual conference in Geneva, Switzerland.
Rabat – Amina Bouayach, the new president of Morocco’s National Council of Human Rights (CNDH), and Michelle Bachelet, the UN high commissioner for human rights, met on Monday in Geneva to discuss human rights in Morocco.
While at the 32nd Global Alliance of National Human Rights Institutions (GANHRI)—running from March 4 to 6— the two officials held talks about Morocco’s efforts and strategies to protect human rights, including those of women, in the country.
Bouayach said that she provided the “necessary explanations” about Morocco’s Law 103.13 on the Elimination of Violence Against Women as well as answers to the UN’s inquiries about allegations of “torture” of prisoners in the country.
Recently, Amnesty International has condemned “unfair trials and torture” in reports, claiming that Moroccan courts continue to convict activists and journalists and rely heavily on forced confessions.
Morocco has strongly rejected the claims and the NGO’s reports, saying that they are “biased” and “void of any credibility” because Amnesty did not provide any evidence for its conclusions.
In addition to Monday’s exchange, Morocco’s CNDH council, led by Bouayach, is participating in a GANHRI workshop on Tuesday about peace and conflict in the Middle East, organized by the Arab Network for National Human Rights Institutions.
Bouayach will also chair a meeting on migration at the Palace of Nations in Geneva today.
King Mohammed VI appointed Bouayach as president of CNDH in December during a royal reception at the Royal Palace in Rabat.
Human rights in Morocco
According to the latest World Justice Project (WJP) Rule of Law Index, Morocco ranks 74th globally and fifth among MENA countries in terms of preservation of order, fundamental law, and absence of corruption for 2019, down from 67th place in the report for 2018.
The report measured rule of law based on several criteria such as constraints on government power, absence of corruption, and criminal justice.
As for women’s rights in particular, the World Bank’s Women, Business and the Law 2019 report published on February 27 ranked Morocco third of Middle Eastern and North African countries in terms of gender equality in law and business.
The report took into account indicators including women’s freedom of movement, laws affecting women’s decisions to enter the labor market, laws affecting occupational segregation and the gender wage gap, and protection from sexual harassment.