Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Human Rights Watch on Morocco

Human Rights Watch released its report on human rights in Morocco earlier this month. Their conclusion: Morocco's not so hot, especially for a supposedly liberalizing friend of the West.

The report mentions abuses against Sahrawis, saying that police are harsher with Sahrawi human rights activists and mentioning repression of Sahrawi student protests.

Morocco's press freedom's also pitiful, according to the report. It talks about the Nichane/Tel Quel travesty we know well, as well as the imprisonment of another newspaper's editor who published a classified document related to terrorism. He was charged with concealing information related to a crime. Can you think a better way to not conceal something than publishing it in a major paper?

Photo used under a Creative Commons license from Flickr user Patotenere.

3 comments:

  1. Anonymous3:02 PM

    Will,
    Why did'nt you comment on Peter Van Walsum's statement to the UNSC? There seems to be a new mediatic war between Algeria and Morocco with regards to the comments of the diplomat, stating that independence is not "realistic". Maybe this topic is not sexy enough for you and you'd raher comment on human rights in morocco.Fact of the matter is that the UN special envoy, that nobody can depict as beeing pro-moroccan, has made crucial comments with regards to the issue of westren sahara, and that pro polisario bloggers don't know how to adresse that.

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  2. Anonymous7:24 PM

    Well, Well, well.
    Now that the old and senile Walsum has made a pro-Moroccan statement, the Moroccans think that this is going to change the situation. Keep dreaming you colonialists.
    Walsum statement is not unprecedented. Perez de Cuellar and Boutrous Ghali stabbed the Saharawis in the back so did other MINURSO staff who Morocco managed to bribe. They gave Morocco computer disks that contained the voters’ lists and provided other confidential information that was given to the UN by Polisario such as Polisario military strength and positions. This was reported in the UK Independent newspaper.
    So the Saharawis and their friends worldwide are not surprised by Walsum's betrayal.
    At the end of the day, Morocco has a lot to offer to the old and retiring UN staff. The exotic cities of Marrakech, Agadir and Casablanca where people can enjoy themselves, have good Couscous, take advantages of the under aged girls and boys prostitutes and perhaps even enjoy the odd Hashish smoke. This really affects the week memory and personality of people like Walsum and his "Realism" becomes so entwined with that of the occupying power and gets so much confused that he runs to UNSC to make a stupid statement which his boss Ban Ki Moon did not include in his report and which also goes against everything that the UN stands for? How bizarre! Congratulations Morocco for corrupting another UN old man.

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  3. You're right that I need to write about what van Walsum said, but not because it's that big of a deal. I should write about it instead to make sure everyone knows what he was talking about.

    He didn't mean WS would not be a successful country. Rather, he said Moroccan obstinance makes independence difficult to achieve. Fair enough! A whole lot of things that looked unrealistic in the past are facts today. I hope van Walsum's words act a challenge to Polisario and other Sahrawis to prove him wrong.

    So like you said, this topic is not sexy enough for me.

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