Annual Report 2013
The state of the world's human rights

11 April 2008

Royal pardon for Moroccan demonstrators

Royal pardon for Moroccan demonstrators
Eight men convicted of undermining the monarchy in Morocco last year have been released after they were pardoned by the King on Friday, 4 April. Nine others facing judicial proceedings based on the same charges also benefited from the Royal pardon.

All of those pardoned were members of the Moroccan Association for Human Rights. Seven of them were arrested on 1 may 2007 for chanting slogans critical of the monarchy, five in Lksar Elkbir and two in Agadir. They were sentenced to between three and five years in prison.

Ten others were arrested in later demonstrations in solidarity with the detainees, among them 73-year-old Mohamed Bougrine. He was also sentenced to prison and his health was said to deteriorate while in detention.
The monarchy remains a taboo subject in Morocco. Any criticism of the king can be considered to undermine the monarchy. In recent years, several people, including journalists and political activists, have been prosecuted and in some cases, sentenced to prison terms for peacefully expressing views critical of the monarchy.

Amnesty International, who adopted the men as prisoners of conscience, imprisoned solely for peacefully exercising their rights, welcomed their release.

However, the organization voiced concern that Moroccan legislation can be used to criminalise the peaceful exercise of the rights to freedom of expression and freedom of assembly.

Amnesty International is urging the Moroccan authorities to bring Moroccan legislation into line with their obligations under Article 19 and 21 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.


Freedom Of Expression 
Prisoners Of Conscience 
Trials And Legal Systems 




Middle East And North Africa 

@amnestyonline on twitter


21 August 2014

Children accused of being members of armed groups in the conflict in Mali are languishing in adult jails while human rights abuses continue.

Read more »
15 August 2014

The number of killings perpetrated by the police is on the rise again in the Dominican Republic whilst legislation intended to fix the problem stalls and stagnates in Congress... Read more »

22 August 2014

The rare acquittal of a death row prisoner in China, who had languished in prison through six years’ of appeals, is another reminder of the need to immediately end all... Read more »

21 August 2014

After fleeing their homes and surviving a perilous Mediterranean crossing, African migrants in Italy are falling prey to labor gangs.

Read more »
22 August 2014

A shocking video showing an execution-style killing by an armed group at a football stadium in eastern Libya highlights the authorities’ failure to prevent parts of the country... Read more »