Morocco/Western Sahara

Morocco and Western Sahara 

Authorities continued to crush dissent, disperse peaceful protests and restrict the activities of several organizations they deemed oppositional. They tightened their crackdown on Sahrawi activists. Criminalization of abortion led to at least one girl dying as a result of an unsafe abortion following rape. Border guards used excessive force against people attempting to cross the border between Morocco and the Spanish enclave of Melilla, causing at least 37 deaths. Domestic legislation remained inadequate to protect and promote the right to a clean and healthy environment. 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.

Spain and Morocco: Demand justice for dead and missing at Melilla

On 24 June 2022, people attempting to cross into Melilla through a border crossing between Spain and Morocco were met with a shocking display of unlawful force by Moroccan and Spanish security forces. At least 37 Black people – mostly from sub-Saharan Africa – died unlawfully and 77 are missing. Their loved ones still don’t have answers about what happened to them. 

Join us to demand truth, justice and reparations for the victims and their families. 

Please click here to take action!

Nawal Benaissa, 36 yeards-old, is a mother of 4 who joined Hirak early on and became one of its main female leading voices. She took part to several protests with her husband and children and has been very active on social media. Her Facebook profile gained more than 80 000 followers, before authorities asked her to shut down during one of her detention in custody. She was arrested and held in custody for few hours four times between June and September 2017. This last time she was sued and on mid-February 2018, she was sentenced to 10 months suspended sentence and a fine of 500 hundred dirhams for inciting to commit an offence (by speech, cries or threats made in the places where public meetings, either through posters exposed to the public or by any means fulfilling the condition, advertising, including electronically, on paper and by audio-visual channel, if the provocation has not been followed by effect. Article 299 of the penal code). Her lawyer has appealed the sentence, the Court of Appeal has yet to rule. Benaissa responded to the court’s decision on her Facebook page by expressing her continued support for the Rif protests. “I am proud to take part in the protests in the region and I denounce the imprisonment of Hirak activists. I demand their immediate release,” she wrote. Few weeks ago, she moved from the northern city of Al Hoceima to another Moroccan city in order to flee harassment from authorities.

Press Release

Amnesty International launches world’s biggest human rights campaign

November 28, 2018 | activism