The authorities restricted freedom of expression and prosecuted critics of the monarchy and state institutions as well as Sahrawi advocates of self-determination. The security forces used excessive force against demonstrators. People suspected of terrorism or other security offences were at risk of torture and other ill-treatment and unfair trials. Migrants, refugees and asylum-seekers were subject to attacks. Women and girls were discriminated against in law and practice. At least seven people were sentenced to death; there were no executions.
The UN Security Council extended the mandate of the UN Mission for the Referendum in Western Sahara (MINURSO) for a further year in April, again without including any human rights monitoring component.
Morocco’s human rights record was assessed under the UN Universal Periodic Review in May. The government subsequently agreed to criminalize enforced disappearances under the Criminal Code and enact a domestic violence law, but declined UN recommendations calling for a legal moratorium on executions and improved procedures for the registration of civil society organizations.
The UN Special Rapporteur on torture visited Morocco and Western Sahara in September.Top of page
The authorities continued to clamp down on journalists and others who criticized the monarchy or state institutions. The security forces used excessive force to disperse demonstrations.
In August, police used excessive force against people demonstrating outside parliament in Rabat against an annual event marking the King’s accession to the throne. A journalist reporting the event was also abused. In November, police used excessive force to prevent a planned demonstration outside parliament called by the 20 February Movement.Top of page
The authorities continued to target Sahrawi human rights defenders and advocates of self-determination for Western Sahara, and used excessive force to quell or prevent demonstrations in Western Sahara. They also continued to block the legal registration of Sahrawi civil society organizations.
Torture and other ill-treatment continued to be reported, with detainees held for interrogation by the Department of State Surveillance (DST) particularly at risk. Following his visit in September, the UN Special Rapporteur on torture observed that torture tended to be more prevalent when the authorities perceived state security to be under threat. He noted that torture allegations rarely resulted in prosecutions of alleged perpetrators.
In October, the National Human Rights Council reported that prison staff continued to commit abuses against prisoners and that investigations were rare.Top of page
People suspected of terrorism or other security-related crimes were at risk of torture or other ill-treatment and unfair trials.
The authorities again failed to implement recommendations made by the Equity and Reconciliation Commission in November 2005, including ratification of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, or to ensure justice for those who suffered serious human rights violations between 1956 and 1999.Top of page
Migrants, refugees and asylum-seekers were at risk of attack and ill-treatment. In September, the UN Special Rapporteur on torture reported a rise in “severe beatings, sexual violence, and other forms of ill-treatment” against undocumented migrants, and urged the authorities to investigate and prevent such “violence against sub-Saharan migrants”.Top of page
Women and girls faced sexual violence and discrimination in both law and practice. In November, the government began the process to enable Morocco to become party to the Optional Protocol to CEDAW. However, it continued to qualify its obligation under CEDAW to eliminate discrimination against women with the condition that this should not conflict with Shari’a law. The government rejected a recommendation under the UN Universal Periodic Review to revise the Family Code to give women the same inheritance rights as men. It remained possible for men to escape punishment for rape by marrying their victim.Top of page
The Polisario Front again failed to take any steps to hold to account those responsible for human rights abuses committed in camps under its control in the 1970s and 1980s.Top of page
At least seven people were sentenced to death. No executions have been carried out since 1993.Top of page