Morocco

Attempts to silence HRDs through arrests and imprisonment

During this period, the government continued to crackdown on dissent via social media. On 23rd March 2022, blogger and human rights defender Saida al-Alami was arrested by Moroccan authorities over her social media criticism of the Moroccan government and security services. She was sentenced by the Casablanca Court of First Instance to two years in prison. In addition, those who showed support for Al-Alami also faced restrictions. In another concerning developments, Amnesty International revealed that human rights defender Aminatou Haidar has been hacked by Pegasus spyware. Separately, five Sahrawi women activists were brutally targeted by Moroccan authorities while on their way to participate in a protest which called for Sahrawi self-determination and expressed public support for Sultana Khaya, a prominent Sahrawi activist.

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Attempts to silence HRDs through arrests and imprisonment

COVID-19 used to curtail freedom of expression further

As in many parts of the world, in early 2020 Morocco adopted a state of health emergency to fight the COVID-19 pandemic. However, with the state of emergency came restrictions on freedom of expression, including imprisonment and fines for anyone who contravenes the health emergency decree, incites others to contravene the decree through speech or threats uttered in a public space or in meetings, written or printed materials, photos, posters, audiovisual or electronic communications, or any other means. In addition, the publication and distribution of print newspapers was suspended during the pandemic. The Council of Government also approved Bill 22-20 which aims to censor expression on social media, in particular, criminalising calls to boycott commercial products. During the pandemic, 110 citizens were detained for legitimately expressing their views. Police also arrested 450 individuals for breaking the public health emergency law and 56 for publishing false information on COVID-19.
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COVID-19 used to curtail freedom of expression further

Morocco courts uphold heavy sentences for peaceful protesters and dissolve cultural CSO

This update covers the period of the first six months of 2019 – 1st January 2019 to 11th June 2019. During this period the state, with the active assistance of the justice system, continued to restrict civic space in Morocco. Read more

Morocco courts uphold heavy sentences for peaceful protesters and dissolve cultural CSO

Social movements repressed and critical voices remain silenced

As previously covered on the CIVICUS Monitor, during 2016 and 2017, Morocco was rocked by the Hirak movement in Rif, northern Morocco. These regional protests were met with repression and arrest. In reaction, the government arrested hundreds of protesters for mobilising on the streets in Rif. In May 2017 the leader of the protests, Nasser Zefzafi was arrested. After a nine month trial, in June 2018, protesters Zefzafi and Nabil Ahmijeq, Wassim El Boustani and Samir Aghid were sentenced for a 20-year jail term. Read more

Social movements repressed and critical voices remain silenced

Morocco shuns international recommendations on civic space

Morocco’s worrying response to its recent Universal Periodic Review in September 2017, reflected growing concerns over the respect for human rights. The country rejected several recommendations, many of which cover civic space as well as the rights of vulnerable groups. Read more

Morocco shuns international recommendations on civic space

Relentless harassment of Moroccan human rights organisation

On 20th February 2017, Human Rights Watch (HRW), reported on the repeated harassment of local Moroccan CSO, the Moroccan Association for Human Rights (AMDH). Read more

Relentless harassment of Moroccan human rights organisation

Morocco-Overview

In light of the amendments made to the constitution in 2011, the scope of public freedoms has increased in Morocco. Read more

8 Human Rights Defenders Languish In Moroccan Jail

On 15th August, 8 prominent Moroccan human rights defenders were sentenced to jail terms of between 4 months and 1 year for their part in a peaceful protest in Sidi Ifini. Read more

8 Human Rights Defenders Languish In Moroccan Jail

Crackdown on Environmental Groups as Journalists go on Trial in Morocco

On 1st July a seminar on environmental and land rights in Marrakesh was banned by the Moroccan authorities. Meanwhile, seven journalists are on trial for “threatening the internal security of the state” because of training they provided on use of a new citizen journalism app. Read more