The 2019 review from the international NGO cited restrictions on freedom of speech and freedom of assembly, accusing Morocco of harassing activists and journalists.
Rabat – Morocco’s government issued a statement rejecting the allegations of human rights violations in the Amnesty International (AI) 2019 Review on human rights in the MENA region.
In the report, the NGO accused Moroccan authorities of harassing journalists, bloggers, artists, and activists for expressing their point of view on Morocco’s institutions.
“They restricted the rights to freedom of association and assembly by preventing some groups critical of the authorities from operating and using unnecessary or excessive force to disperse demonstrations,” the report’s section on Morocco outlined.
In response, the Moroccan governments emphasized the kingdom’s efforts towards consolidating achievements in human rights, openness, dialogue and collaboration with UN mechanisms and other NGOs.
The government has studied the NGO’s report and its chapter dedicated to Morocco, presented by the AI Moroccan section at a press conference held Tuesday in Rabat, the statement added.
After reviewing the report, the authorities concluded that AI continues to use “generalizations and assessments that are not based on concrete data.”
The government also accused the NGO of a lack of objectivity and transparency in the document, Maghreb Arab Press (MAP) reported.
The statement went on to say the allegations in the report represent the “failure” of the NGO to “carry out enough investigations into alleged torture and ill-treatment” and “unfair trials.”
Morocco’s government expressed disappointment with the NGO’s report, saying it ignored Morocco’s efforts in the “fight against torture.”
Commenting on the accusations relating to the alleged harassment of journalists and activists, the statement said: “These [allegations] are erroneous assessments insofar as the NGO highlights cases taken out of context.”.
Morocco cannot free convicted criminals because of their celebrity status, emphasizing that each citizen should be treated equally, the statement said.
The authorities also said the judicial system in Morocco is independent, and it is the role of the judiciary “to decide on the cases submitted to it, in accordance with the evidence presented in each case, within the framework of the total independence of the judiciary to exercise its prerogatives in accordance with the Constitution and law.”