Friday, February 02, 2007

Morocco to abolish death penalty

Those Moroccans. Just when it seems like their distaste for press freedom is matched only by their zeal for protest crushing, they do something profoundly right. The good news out of Morocco now is that by April it will be the first Arab state to abolish the death penalty.

According to the president of the Consultative Committee on Human Rights, members of parliament and the king have been working together to strike capital punishment from the constitution.

While Muslims in Nigeria, for example, move closer to the unforgiving punishments prescribed in Shar'ia law, the Moroccan government is protecting human dignity and its secular nature. Once this law is passed, in another way Morocco will be more progressive than my home state, Texas.

It's also pleasing to see that the King isn't just working his policy through royal fiat but seems to be following the legal process.

I'm not sure how this will affect the Western Sahara. Have any Sahrawis been executed? I suppose if there were executions they'd be of the "shot while trying to escape" variety. It's startling how Morocco can be so enlightened on some issues while opposing others (like self-determination, free speech, and free assembly) vigorously.

But I'm not going to ruin Morocco's human rights parade. Congratulations, Morocco, you're my third favorite Arab country.

1 comment:

  1. It was interesting to me to read this article. Honestly speaking I am really glad that Morocco canceled death penalty. It is another step in the development of the country. It is the first Arabic country that did it-a very impressive.

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