• Morocco’s 2011 constitution incorporated strong human rights provisions, but these reforms did not lead to improved practices, the passage of implementing legislation, or the revision of repressive laws. In 2013, Moroccans exercised their right to peaceful protest in the streets, but police continued to violently disperse them on occasion. Laws that criminalize acts deemed harmful to the king, the monarchy, Islam, or Morocco’s claim over the disputed Western Sahara limited the rights to peaceful expression, assembly, and association.
  • A Moroccan appeals court on July 2, 2014, upheld the convictions of men accused of homosexual acts. At least four of the six defendants in the case in central Morocco were convicted on charges that included “lewd or unnatural acts with an individual of the same sex,” under penal code article 489.

Reports

Morocco/Western Sahara

  • Oct 18, 2014
    Refugees from the Western Sahara conflict who have been living in camps in the Algerian desert for four decades seem to be generally able to leave the camps if they wish, but face curbs on some rights. The camps are run by the Polisario Front, which seeks self-determination for Western Sahara, a former Spanish colony that Morocco has occupied since 1975.
  • Sep 9, 2014
    Morocco should address the cases of political activists imprisoned after unfair trials, Human Rights Watch said in a letter today, to Government Chief Abdelilah Benkirane.
  • Sep 8, 2014
    I write to you in connection with the case of Abdeslam Loumadi, a resident of El-Ayoun and vocal Sahrawi opponent of Morocco’s claim to Western Sahara, who is currently serving a ten-month sentence in that city’s civil prison.
  • Aug 18, 2014
    Spain should immediately halt summary returns of migrants to Morocco from its North African enclave, Melilla. Spain should also investigate evidence that Guardia Civil officers beat migrants at the border fence.
  • Jul 8, 2014
    A Moroccan appeals court on July 2, 2014, upheld the convictions of men accused of homosexual acts. At least four of the six defendants in the case in central Morocco were convicted on charges that included “lewd or unnatural acts with an individual of the same sex,” under penal code article 489.
  • Jul 2, 2014
    The prison sentence issued on July 1, 2014, for the outspoken rapper known as “Al-Haqed” raises concerns that Moroccan courts have once again convicted him because of his political message. A Casablanca Court of First Instance sentenced Al-Haqed (“the sullen one”), whose real name is Mouad Belghouat, to four months in prison and ordered him to pay a fine and damages for allegedly being inebriated in public and assaulting and insulting policemen.
  • Apr 14, 2014
    Human Rights Watch urges the Security Council, when it votes on renewing the United Nations Mission for the Referendum in Western Sahara (MINURSO) this month, to extend the mandate to incorporate human rights monitoring in Western Sahara and in the Polisario Front-run refugee camps near Tindouf, Algeria.
  • Mar 26, 2014
    From the heights of Mount Gourougou, Melilla -legally, if not geographically, part of Europe- makes Europe appear within reach for migrants trying to get there from Morocco. Looking down, however, they can also see that its nearness is something of a mirage. The Spanish enclave is protected by three fences, razor wire, and constant patrolling by Spanish and Moroccan authorities.
  • Mar 24, 2014
    Spanish and Moroccan authorities should affirm procedures to protect rights for migrants and reject summary returns at the border.
  • Feb 19, 2014