Morocco/Western Sahara


Morocco and Western Sahara 

Moroccan authorities continue to use the 2020 health emergency decree-law to arbitrarily restrict freedom of expression and assembly, including of journalists, activists and workers. The authorities continue to violate the rights of pro-independence Sahrawi activists through arbitrary house arrests, ill-treatment and harassment. The government introduced a Covid-19 vaccine pass necessary for anyone to enter their places of work, public and private administrations, restaurants and to travel inside and outside Morocco. Protests against the pass were held in several cities and were met by force at least once. The Feminist Action Union recorded monthly increases in domestic violence cases in almost every city in Morocco. Parliament passed a new law that allows for gender reassignment for those born “hermaphrodites”, which was criticized by LGBTI communities for its vagueness and lack of reference to transgender people. Migrants and asylum seekers were arbitrarily detained and, in areas close to border crossings, the authorities raided the lodging places of sub-Saharan nationals, sometimes burning their belongings or forcibly evicting them.

Sahrawi woman activist Sultana Khaya managed to leave her house in Boujdour, Western Sahara, on 30 May and travel to Spain for medical care. Under arbitrary house arrest since November 2020, the restrictions placed on her have yet to be officially removed and it remains unclear whether she would be able to return to the country. To date, there has been no investigation into the security forces’ incidents of torture and ill-treatment against her and her family.

In October 2022, the UN Mission for the Referendum in Western Sahara (MINURSO) was renewed until until 31 October 2023, but still lacked a human rights mandate. Human rights organizations could still not access Western Sahara and Polisario camps.

Morocco/Western Sahara News

October 9, 2019 • Report

Human Rights Defenders in Morocco Targeted Using Malicious NSO Israeli Spyware

Two prominent human rights defenders in Morocco have been targeted using surveillance technology developed by the Israeli-based company NSO Group, according to new research published by Amnesty Tech today.

February 26, 2019 • Report

Human rights in the Middle East and North Africa: A review of 2018

The international community’s chilling complacency towards wide-scale human rights violations in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) has emboldened governments to commit appalling violations during 2018 by giving them …

February 18, 2016 • Report

Amnesty International State of the World 2015-2016

International protection of human rights is in danger of unravelling as short-term national self-interest and draconian security crackdowns have led to a wholesale assault on basic freedoms and rights, warned Amnesty International as it launched its annual assessment of human rights around the world. “Your rights are in jeopardy: they are being treated with utter contempt by many governments around the world,” said Salil Shetty, Secretary General of Amnesty International.

May 18, 2015 • Report

Shadow of Impunity: Torture in Morocco and Western Sahara

Beatings, stress positions, asphyxiation, simulated drowning, psychological and sexual violence are among an array of torture techniques used by Moroccan security forces to extract “confessions” to crimes or silence activists and crush dissent, according to a new Amnesty International report published today.

February 25, 2015 • Report

State of the World 2014/2015

This has been a devastating year for those seeking to stand up for human rights and for those caught up in the suffering of war zones. Governments pay lip service to the importance of protecting civilians. And yet the world's politicians have miserably failed to protect those in greatest need. Amnesty International believes that this can and must finally change.

September 26, 2014 • Report

My Body My Rights

All over the world, people are coerced, criminalized and discriminated against, simply for making choices about their bodies and their lives. In the face of these continuing violations, Amnesty International launches MY BODY MY RIGHTS, a new global campaign to defend sexual and reproductive rights for all.

May 21, 2013 • Report

Annual Report: Morocco/Western Sahara 2013

Kingdom of Morocco Head of state King Mohamed VI Head of government Abdelilah Benkirane The authorities restricted freedom of expression and prosecuted critics of the monarchy and state institutions as …

July 13, 2011 • Report

Annual Report: Morocco/Western Sahara 2011

Head of state: King Mohamed VI Head of government: Abbas El Fassi Death penalty: abolitionist in practice Population: 32.4 million Life expectancy: 71.8 years Under-5 mortality (m/f): 43/29 per 1,000 …

March 26, 2011 • Report

Morocco: Continued detention of three brothers who “disappeared” in 1973 (STOP PRESS: released 30 December 1991)

Midhat Rene Bourequat, Bayazid Jacques Bourequat and Ali Auguste Bourequat, three brothers of French nationality, were...

March 26, 2011 • Report

Morocco/Western Sahara: Broken Promises: The Equity and Reconciliation Commission and its Follow-up

This report provides an assessment by Amnesty International of the work of the Equity and Reconciliation Commission and the...