Morocco. According to
countryaah, the restrictions on women's right to control
their own bodies became more and more prominent. In March,
protest demonstrations were held after a 16-year-old girl
was killed after being forced to marry an elderly man who
had previously raped her. A court had ordered the marriage
in accordance with a law that was said to protect the
victims of rape victims from shame. In September, a Dutch
vessel from the organization Women on Waves attempted to
call the port of Smir to give women the opportunity for
abortion and counseling on the issue. Authorities closed the
harbor as the ship approached. Article 490 of the Criminal
Code, which unlawfully declares sexual relations between
unmarried persons, was also criticized during the year.
Democracy demands, heard during the Arab Spring of 2011,
were muted, but thousands of people gathered in the city of
Casablanca in May in protest of the failure of promised
reforms. At least 22 people were arrested and a number of
people were injured in the riots in March in the city of
Beni Ayach in the north of the country.
At least 14 refugees from the West Africa region were
reported to have drowned in October since the boat was
capsized off Alhucemas.
The traffic continued to harvest many casualties. At
least 42 people were killed on September 4 when a bus drove
down a ravine near the city of Zerkten in southern Morocco.
In July, 26 people were killed in two different bus
In August 2013, the king granted amnesty to 48 imprisoned
Spaniards. It triggered widespread popular protests when
there was a pedophile among those released who had been
sentenced to 30 years in prison for raping 11 children aged
4-15 years. The king then withdrew the amnesty.
Seven Saharuis went on hunger strike in September after
being subjected to torture at Laayoune prison.
In November 2013, King attended a Washington state visit
where Obama praised Morocco's intentions and commitment to
improving human rights. It was not clear what Obama was
aiming for, because human rights organizations had not
The regime routinely pursues young artists who criticize
conditions under the dictatorship. In June 2014, rapper
Mouad Belghouat (aka El Haqed) was sentenced to prison for
the third time. He was given 4 months in prison and a $ 1200
fine for "assaulting police officers". The lawsuit was
characterized by the "judge" refusing to defend witnesses
and failing to summon the "victims". El Haqed reports on
corruption and police brutality.
In September 2014, the dictatorship banned the
implementation of an Amnesty International (AI) youth camp
that should have been completed in Bouznika. Since 1998, AI
had conducted international youth camps and this was the
first time it was to be held in Morocco.
Heavy rainfall in November triggered major flooding in
southern Morocco. At least 17 died in the bodies of water.
In March 2015, Morocco joined the Saudi-led coalition
that attacked Yemen. The dictatorship sent several bombers
bombing the country.
The persecution of journalists increased during 2015. In
March, a court in Rabat sentenced journalist Hicham Mansouri
to 10 months in prison for "infidelity". In reality, it was
a political judgment.
In July, a Kenitra cartoonist sentenced Khalid Gueddar to
three months in prison for "public drunkenness and insult to
a public institution".
In August, a Meknes Hamid Elmahdaouy court sentenced a
fine. Elmahdaouy was editor-in-chief of the news site
badil.info and was convicted of publishing "fake news" and
editing an unauthorized newspaper. The court also suspended
badil.info from the Internet for 3 months.
In November, a Casablanca court judge convicted Taoufik
Bouachrine of defamation. Bouachrine was editor-in-chief of
Akhbar Al Yaoum newspaper and the crime consisted in the
publication of leaked diplomatic telegrams. The court
sentenced him to 2 months suspended jail and a fine of US $