• While authorities have pledged to reform law and practices to conform to the bold human rights affirmations in the 2011 constitution, a judiciary lacking in independence continues to convict and imprison critics, using repressive laws such as those that penalize “insulting” the monarchy and state institutions. Authorities often tolerate street protests, which are increasingly widespread, but sometimes disperse them violently and then file dubious charges against their leaders. In Western Sahara, Moroccan authorities move swiftly to prevent demonstrations in favor of self-determination for that disputed region. The 2004 family code advanced women’s rights but other laws discriminating against women persist.
  • Hicham Mansouri, currently serving ten months in prison in Morocco after an unfair trial for adultery. The trial also led to a 30 year old woman being convicted and jailed.
    Ten-month prison sentences for a man and a woman for adultery, confirmed on appeal on May 27, 2015, are the disturbing outcome of a Moroccan adultery law that violates basic rights and a prosecution that appears politically-motivated. The case is the latest in a pattern of trials in Morocco with a political hue that fall short of due process and fair trial standards.

Reports

Morocco/Western Sahara

  • Jun 2, 2015
    Ten-month prison sentences for a man and a woman for adultery, confirmed on appeal on May 27, 2015, are the disturbing outcome of a Moroccan adultery law that violates basic rights and a prosecution that appears politically-motivated. The case is the latest in a pattern of trials in Morocco with a political hue that fall short of due process and fair trial standards.
  • Apr 8, 2015
    Moroccan authorities have persisted in their campaign to disrupt a leading independent human rights group despite two court rulings that authorities wrongfully prohibited its gatherings, Human Rights Watch said today.
  • Mar 17, 2015
    Moroccan authorities should request the release of two civilians who have been held for unreasonably long periods awaiting military court trials, Human Rights Watch said today in a letter to the justice and liberties minister and the minister-delegate for national defense.
  • Mar 17, 2015
    Human Rights Watch welcomes Morocco’s recent adoption of amendments to the Code of Military Justice that end military court jurisdiction over civilian defendants. We consider this an important, if overdue, step that addresses a longstanding divergence from international norms relating to the right to fair trial and one that should significantly enhance the future administration of justice in Morocco.
  • Mar 4, 2015
    Two men accused of consensual homosexual activity are serving prison terms after a trial that seems to have been unfair, Human Rights Watch and the Aswat Group for Sexual Minorities, a Moroccan group, said today.
  • Feb 4, 2015
    There has been little progress toward justice for the drowning deaths of 15 migrants in waters off a Spanish enclave in North Africa on February 6, 2014.
  • Jan 29, 2015
    There were few tangible improvements in human rights in Morocco and Western Sahara during 2014, either in law or in practice, Human Rights Watch said today in its World Report 2015.
  • Jan 23, 2015
  • Dec 22, 2014
    Moroccan authorities should release a Sahrawi activist who has been held awaiting trial for more than 15 months.
  • Nov 11, 2014
    Othman Atiq, a 17-year-old Moroccan rapper known as “Mr. Crazy,” is due to be released by Moroccan authorities on November 12, 2014, after completing a three-month sentence for “offending a state institution,” “harming public morality,” and other offenses related to his lyrics.