Morocco Human Rights and Corruption

By | June 5, 2021

Human rights

Responsibilities and current trends

On the state side, the CNDH (Conseil National des Droits de l’Homme) has been responsible for human rights issues since 2011. The human rights situation in Morocco had changed since King Mohammed VI came to power. first improved in 1999. Arbitrariness and torture have been pushed back; the cultural rights of the Amazonophone population were strengthened by the constitution. In addition, reservations regarding the Convention against Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) have largely been lifted. International organizations such as Amnesty International still see a considerable need for action. Numerous laws are still incompatible with international human rights standards. This concerns, among other things, freedom of expression (restricted), freedom of religion (lack of negative freedom of belief), the right to sexual self-determination (prohibition of extramarital sexual contact) and the right to sexual identity and sexual orientation. Sexuality outside of marriage, homosexual acts, and abortion – even if rape or if the mother’s life is in danger – can still be severely punished. In addition, reports of abuse of power by police and intelligence agencies, from arbitrary arrests to torture, persist. This applies to both Moroccan territory and the Western Sahara, which is controlled by Morocco. The death penalty has not been used for almost two decades, but it has not been abolished. Moroccan human rights organizations, including the Association Marocaine des Droits Humains (AMDH), have one coalition launched to abolish the death penalty.

Human rights: civil society under great pressure

After a thaw at the beginning of King Mohammed VI’s reign. the human rights situation in Morocco has deteriorated in recent years. Freedom of expression and freedom of the media were virtually abolished.

Activists in northern Morocco who fought against the exploitation of refugees by security officers and border police officers were sometimes threatened and sometimes arrested. partly deported.

In connection with the unrest in northern Morocco (Hirak), which has flared up again and again since October 2016, the state apparatus reacted with arbitrary arrests, torture and excessive prison sentences. Naser Zefzaf, who was sentenced to several years in prison, reported from prison in 2019 that he had been.

In the meantime, progressive non-governmental organizations from the cultural sector are also being targeted by the power apparatus. In December 2018, the renowned cultural initiative ” Racines ” was banned by a court order. German political foundations are also affected by reprisals and attempts at intimidation.

According to ehealthfacts, a number of Moroccan intellectuals openly criticize arbitrariness in other countries, but they mostly ignore the situation in Morocco.

Dealing with the “leaden years”

During the reign of King Hassan II (“années de plomb”) there were massive human rights violations up to and including enforced disappearance. In early 2004, King Mohammed VI issued. a decree establishing the Truth and Reconciliation Commission “Instance Equité et Reconciliation” (IER), which was supposed to deal with human rights violations, killings and enforced disappearances from 1956 to 1999. As part of the IER’s roughly two-year work, a total of seven public hearings were held broadcast live on state television by victims and bereaved families. The IER processed over 16,000 applications. According to the final report, a total of almost 10,000 applications were approved. The total amount of compensation, pensions and medical expenses paid out was more than $ 140 million. The work of the IER was widely praised, but there was also criticism. Among other things, it was criticized that the perpetrators were not publicly named and prosecuted.


The Moroccan government has adopted a 10-year plan to fight corruption. For years, Morocco has been in the middle of the relevant international rankings. The international anti-corruption organization has a national branch in Morocco. Transparency Maroc lobbies against corruption in the form of publications, campaigns and training for various social groups and functionaries. The organization also offers advice and guidance for those affected. The fight against corruption in Morocco is made more difficult by, among other things, a slow judiciary, centralism and the intertwining of politics and economy. One example is the former state-owned Samir refinery which has not left the headlines since it was sold to a Saudi investor and which is about to be liquidated in the summer of 2016. Corruption is omnipresent not only in large privatization projects, but also in everyday life. Whether in the hospital, at school, at the university or with the vehicle registration – almost everywhere in Morocco extra payments are due if you need a service. Since the tax system is underdeveloped and the public sector is accordingly financially weak, many Moroccans – including the responsible politicians – regard the bribes as a kind of tax rate. The army is also susceptible to corruption: one example is the case of Colonel (Colonel) Mustafa Adibwho denounced embezzlement. Instead of investigating, Adib himself was reported and arrested. He lives in exile.

Morocco Corruption