Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Reforms in Morocco proceeding slowly

Morocco was in the news last year concerning military justice reform legislation that would bar military trials of civilians. For example:
According to a report presented to the 28th session of the Human Rights Council, the decision of the kingdom to put an end to the prosecution of civilians before military courts is one of the significant advances in the country. 
The bill on military justice adopted by the Moroccan Parliament deeply revises the mandate of the military courts that can no longer try civilians but in the case of war, nor treat general law crimes committed by military or paramilitary personnel, says the report elaborated by Said Benarbia, MENA program director at the International Commission of Jurists.
The new law, however, which was not promulgated until December 10, 2014, does not take effect until July 1, 2015. Moroccan authorities seem not to be applying it to civilians who are already in custody (and have been in custody for a considerable time). Human Rights Watch has documented the problem in a March 17, 2015 letter to the government and March 18, 2015 press release.

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