First Published: 2009-10-07

 
HRW: Morocco must allow freedom of association
 

Human Rights Watch accuses authorities of doing what they like in dealing with associations’ registration.

 

Middle East Online

Educational associations should be supported to fight illiteracy

RABAT - Morocco's government must put an end to abuses of power that prevent associations from functioning properly and compel civil servants to follow the law, Human Rights Watch said Wednesday.

In a report, the New York-based Human Rights Watch noted that, in defiance of the law, "local representatives of the ministry of the interior often turn down the registration of an association if its aims or its members displease the authorities."

Moroccan law specifies that civil servants should register new associations without putting administrative barriers in their way.

"When it comes to freedom of association, it's the same as with many other questions of human rights: Morocco passes progressive legislation, but afterwards, the administration does what it likes," said Sarah Leah Whitson, the director of the Middle East/North Africa division of HRW.

The watchdog body gave several examples of non-governmental organisations that have been refused the official receipt attesting to their registration as associations. Without this receipt, they cannot exercise their activities, receive grants, open bank accounts, rent property and organise public events.

They included associations to fight corruption, to defend the right of university graduates to unemployment benefit, and to represent the Amazigh (local Berber) population, the Sahrawi people of the Western Sahara, and migrants from sub-Saharan Africa, according to HRW.

"The administration has also undermined the activities of many charities and educational associations, apparently because of the presence in their leadership of members of Justice and Spirituality, one of the most active Islamist movements in Morocco," the report said.

In conclusion, HRW "strongly recommends" that the government "revise the law on associations in a fashion that restricts the criteria under which an association can be banned."

Currently, the legislation allows civil servants to ban associations that threaten the Islamic faith, the monarchical regime and the territorial integrity of Morocco.

HRW said these conditions are "too general and open the way to repression for political motives."

 

Iraq dismisses US call for Iranian-backed militias to 'go home'

Opposition calls on Iraqi Kurd leader to step down

IS ‘executed’ 116 suspected of Syria regime collaboration

Israel arrests 51 Palestinians for ‘terror-related’ crimes

Greening the Camps brings food and hope to refugees

UNICEF says 1,100 children malnourished in Syria’s Ghouta

UN says Yemen children in desperate need of aid

Orthodox Jews block Jerusalem entrance in protest

Six terror suspects arrested in Morocco

EU announces 106 million euros in aid for Sudan

French judges to rule on whether 'Jihad' is acceptable name

Saudi Aramco chief confirms IPO despite doubts

Lack of accountability hinders governing in Morocco, analysts say

Sudan editor convicted after Bashirs accused of graft

Russia’s Lavrov urges Iraq-Kurd dialogue

Kurds to arrest 11 Iraqis in response to similar Baghdad move

Car bomb attack kills 9 in south Yemen military base

Rouhani boasts about Iran’s greatness in region

Iraq unrest highlights long-standing political divisions

Bahrain temporarily frees female activist

Egypt court sentences 11 people to death for 'terrorism'

Israel police arrest 15 over anti Jewish-Arab dating campaign

Tillerson woos Gulf allies to curb Iran influence

Abadi, Sadr meet in Jordan

No clear US strategy in Syria after Raqqa liberation

Tillerson pushes to undercut Iran at landmark Saudi, Iraq meeting

Gulf share values plummet

US-backed forces capture key Syria oil field

More than half of Austrians vote for anti-immigration party

Washington sees potential Hezbollah threat in the US

UN ends Libya talks with no progress made

Cairo killing sparks security concerns among Copts

Iraq PM arrives in Saudi to upgrade ties

35 Egyptian police killed in Islamist ambush

Morocco recalls Algeria envoy over 'hashish money' jibe

Ceremony marks 75 years since WWII Battle of El Alamein

Somalia attack death toll rises to 358

Long road ahead for families of jailed Morocco protesters

How Raqa recapture affects complex Syrian war

Israel hits Syrian artillery after Golan fire

Germany advances Israel submarine deal after corruption holdup

Bashir Gemayel's killer convicted, 35 years later

SDF hails 'historic victory' against IS in Raqa

Hamas delegation visits Iran

Turkish court orders release of teacher on hunger strike