Human Rights Watch welcomes the UPR report on Morocco, which includes recommendations concerning joining the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court; abolition of capital punishment; and equality among citizens.

During Morocco’s review in May 2017, delegations acknowledged Morocco’s efforts to accede to international treaties, in particular its ratification of the International Convention for Enforced Disappearance and the Optional Protocol to the Convention against Torture.

While Human Rights Watch acknowledges developments in advancing rights of domestic workers, victims of human trafficking, and persons with disabilities, we regret that the government rejected key recommendations on important human rights concerns. These recommendations include withdrawing all reservations to the Convention on Discrimination against Women; decriminalizing same-sex consensual relations; amending Penal Code provisions used to imprison journalists and others for nonviolent speech; and eliminating Family Code provisions that discriminate against children born outside of wedlock.

We urge the Government to comply with the recommendations it has accepted, including one that Morocco accepted during the second cycle of the Universal Periodic Review but has yet to implement.

Morocco’s human rights record remains tainted by allegations of unjustified use of force by police against “Hirak” protesters in the Rif, the systematic suppression of pro-independence demonstrations by Sahrawis in Western Sahara, and the failure of courts trying politically charged cases to scrutinize the veracity of contested “confessions” to the police, contributing to trials that are unfair.