Morocco Takes Move to Clear Human Rights Record
A panel set up upon decree by Moroccan King Mohammad VI decided to distribute MD40m to families of detention and disappearance victims, MBC Radio reported Monday.
The decision was taken in a bid by authorities to clear Morocco’s name of human rights abuses.
The announcement came Sunday at the 5th International Forum of Human Rights currently held in Rabat.
Moroccan news agency said Sunday the kingdom has scored remarkable progress in matters of human rights defense and promotion, quoting Mary Robinson, United Nations Human Rights High Commissioner.
Such progress is so important for the region and for Morocco itself, Robinson had told the press upon arrival in Casablanca on Friday.
HUMAN RIGHTS CENTER OPENED
Robinson also launched the Arab world's first center for human rights training and information in the Moroccan in Rabat.
The half-a-million dollar center, jointly funded by the Moroccan Ministry for Human Rights and the United Nations, will train prison warders, judges, policemen and teachers, said BBC Sunday.
Speaking at the inaugural ceremony, Robinson said the center reflected what she called Morocco's remarkable evolution on human rights.
"I'm very glad to come back to Morocco because there is a lot happening that I want to support and this center will provide an infrastructure of human rights," she said.
"It reflects the determination of Morocco to make substantial progress and there is a willingness to reach out to victims of human rights violations," Robinson said.
Human rights groups have questioned whether the UN-backed center actually marks change for the Moroccan authorities or is just good public relations.
On Sunday, as Robinson spoke at a press conference welcoming the opening of the human rights center, the Moroccan Information Ministry announced that it was banning the latest editions of two news magazines.
They carried reports of an interview with a leader of Polisario, which campaigns for Western Sahara to be independent of Morocco
But diplomats maintain that Morocco's record on human rights, once one of the worst in the Arab world, is now one of the best.
OBSERVERS INSIST THE ABUSES CONTINUE.
According to BBC, however, Rabat authorities admit complicity in more than 100 disappearances and extra-judicial killings over the past 30 years, but have yet to respond to allegations hundreds of Saharawis have been abducted and killed during Morocco's rule of Western Sahara.
The authorities continue to keep an Islamist leader under house arrest without trial and deny women equal rights – (Several Sources)
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