Morocco: Statement about the declaration of the Minister of Interior to the Parliament

Following the groundless statements of the Minister of the Interior in front of the representatives of the legislative power against associations and human rights movement on 15 July 2014, and on the basis of his conspicuous tendency to lead invalid accusations against Moroccan associations and organizations working in the field of human rights and democratic development, in an attempt to disparage its efforts in advancing and protecting human rights.

Following the allegations against The Moroccan  associations and  human rights  movement by accusing them of being  abroad  mercenaries and by presenting them as  a harm to the national interests, in addition to ranking them along with religious extremism and terrorism; the associations , coordinations and  associative actors, after  their publishing a statement denouncing  those declarations,  decided to hold  this press conference to address a message to those whom  it may concern, demanding them to  avoid, through their speeches and policies,  questioning the work of  associations , which  significantly contributed to the development of  the democratic awareness and to promotion  and protection of human rights, and  to respect  their views which are addressed to the national public opinion, who remains the main concerned addressee above all ; and to remind the State of its responsibility to protect all the rights and freedoms for all,  guarantee a decent  living  for and  establish full equality between men and women  without any discrimination

    In this regard, and for practical purposes, it should be recalled that:

    - associations are institutions that are recognized , constitutionally, and  are in accordance with international agreements and conventions; hence, the national democratic movement and the international community have always insisted  that one of the cornerstones of the establishment of democracy, transparency and governance is the participation of associations  in the implementation ,  evaluation, and follow-up  of public policies ; their controlling authority stems from their being the very heart of society.

      - associations are spaces for human rights education , promotion and the facing  of violations involving the cooperation with and complementarity between  the other  actors, especially political parties, trade unions, this in order to build a modern democratic state, respectful  of individual and collective rights and freedoms ,including the freedom of belief , the abolition of  death penalty, the good governance  ,  combating corruption,  the ensuring of the right to access to information and fundamental public services such  health, housing  ,a decent work and a good education which are  all summarized in one phrase : "All human Rights for All";

    -  associations, in similarity with other governmental sectors and in conformity with the law   , have to obtain  financial support from governmental  bodies, regional or international agencies, establish partnerships , carry out programs  which are compatible with their role and contribution to the development of democracy in Morocco. In this context, it should be emphasized that the basic concrete element in the work of associations is the moral and physical contribution the volunteers within the associative field; However;this aspect is unfortunately ignored by the state, despite its importance in promoting the values ​​of solidarity and commitment.

   Given the overall context of this public  irresponsible assault of the Minister of the Interior and its coincidence with the presentation of the features of the intended security plan  of counter -terrorist threats before the parliament;  and by taking  this statement into account and by relating it to  previous ones given by State representatives, including the head of the government  and some of his ministers, it becomes obvious that they all reveal, in their entity , the presence of a logic and  a  political behavior which systematically aims at offending the components of the civil society , the organizations and  the human rights associations; and which also aims at misleading  the public opinion  and misinforming them about the  associations’  activities  and  the efforts done to promote and protect human rights, as they are universally recognized;

     On the occasion of the present press conference, we re-affirm the following:

   -The link between the duties of the state to sustain stability and to face terrorist threats, and between the assault against associations is a real step-back from the achievements made by the associative movement   and which were gained thanks to the long-term struggle along with other actors, especially in the field of combating torture; and facing all forms of violence as a means of imposing one’s view;

 - The state’s  inclination to challenge the credibility of civil society  does, in its essence,  challenge all the constitutional provisions and  the general principles that define the roles of civil society in the areas of development and the defense of individual rights and their freedoms protected under national laws and international conventions.

  - The State's behavior and attitudes reflect its purposeful will to subject the living forces of society, paralyze and impede their effective roles, but ignore their participative work aiming at promoting community services.

  -  Morocco’s preparation to welcome thousands of human rights activists for the International  Human Rights Forum which will be held in November 2014 necessitates  providing enough  room for human rights, the release of prisoners of opinion, and the cease of repression of freedom of association and expression and demonstration, rather than holding  assaults against Human Rights organizations  and classifying them within the frame of terrorism and extremism; otherwise  ,the minister’s wish  would be to abort this international  Human Rights Forum.

    - Morocco's international obligations in the field of the protection of rights and freedoms, in addition to his membership in the UN Human rights council necessitates a change in its official policy towards human rights defenders, and the adequacy of the set of national laws to the requirements of the related international covenants; the effective recognition of the independent constitutional role of associations in establishing the rule of the law.  

The bodies and associations signatories of the present statement, issued on July 20, while expressing their deep concern on the vindictive reactions   affecting human rights defenders, manifested in the inciting directions cited in the statement of the Minister of the Interior, renews its demand to the interior minister to apologize for these groundless charges  , and calls  the state to assume its responsibility to put an end to  the deterioration of  the status of human rights in Morocco; including the assault to the freedom of expression and organization, and end the practice of torture and other cruel, inhuman and degrading behaviors.

    To achieve this end, the association and coordinations, meeting on 18 July 2014, announce to the public opinion that they had prepared a mid-term action plan with a view of the vision balancing efforts, cooperation and complementarity in order to enhance the independent role of associations in protecting and promoting human rights, and in contributing to the establishment of the rule of law is through:

1. Organizing sit-ins against the minister’s statements at the regional and national level;

2. Claiming its legal right to reply, through public channels, to those charges  

3. Mobilizing to publicize all violations of the rights of the citizens;

4.  Engaging in and sustaining all coalitions, which work within the field of the defense of human rights;  particularly ,  the networks , the women's movements and organizations that work on the national mechanisms to monitor places of detention, and the dynamic of the Rabat Declaration, through the preparation of a defending memorandum  on the subject;

5. Organizing a national symposium on the situation of human rights;

6. Making of the Global Forum for Human Rights, to be held in November an event to the define of the situation of human rights and advocate for their respect by the state;

7. Organize meetings with political parties and parliamentary groups and trade unions for their involvement in the Battle of the defense of rights and freedoms, and the respect for the state for its international obligations.

The following organizations sign the statement:

1.      Forum marocain de vérité et justice
2.      Association marocaine des droits humains
3.      Ligue marocaine de défense des droits humains
4.      Organisation marocaine des droits humains
5.      Association Adala
6.      Observatoire marocain des prisons
7.      Coordination maghrébine des organisations de droits humains
8.      Collectif marocain des instances de droits humains
9.      Réseau Amazigh pour la Citoyenneté Azetta amazigh i tanamurt
10. Forum des alternatives Maroc
11. Observatoire amazigh des droits et libertés
12. Amnesty International Maroc
13. Centre marocain des droits humains
14. Institution Oyoun pour les droits humains
15. Organisation des libertés d’information et d’expression
16. Association de lutte contre le sida
17. Réseau marocain de protection des biens publics
18. Coalition civil pour une régionalisation démocratique
19. Espace associatif pour le développement démocratique
20. Secrétariat de la dynamique de l’Appel de Rabat
21. Transparency Maroc
22. Centre marocain pour la démocratie et la sécurité
23. Ligue marocaine pour la citoyenneté et les droits de l’homme
24. Réseau espace libre de citoyenneté de formation et de développement à Mohammedia
25. Association médicale de réinsertion des victimes de tortures 
26. Mouvement alternatives citoyennes
27. Association marocaine de solidarité et de développement
28. Carrefour associatif
29. Instance marocaine des droits humains
30. Réseau espace libre de citoyenneté de formation et de développement à Mohammedia
31. Centre d’étude et de recherches en sciences sociales
32. Forum civil démocratique marocain
33. Institut de formation des agents de développement
34. Association Al Miter Bouchentouf pour le Développement Social
35. Association Adrar Tahla
36. Réseau associatif de Tinghir pour la démocratie et le développement
37. Fédération des associations pour le développement et la démocratie de Tinghir
38. Réseau des associations de développement Sud-Es Errachidia
39. Tissu associatif pour le développement Ouarzazate
40. Tissu associatif pour le développement et la démocratie Zagora
41. Association marocaine pour le développement et l’éducation Benguerir
42. Centre Euro-méditerranéen Migration & Développement
43. Mouvement pour la démocratie paritaire
44. L'association Na'oura Belgique 
45. Association marocaine de protection des biens publics
46. Centre marocain pour la démocratie et la sécurité
47. Forum marocain de défense des droits de l’homme
48. Réseau marocain Euro-méditerranéenne
49. Comité de défense des droits de l’homme
50. Collectif pour le droit à la santé
51. Association démocratique des femmes du Maroc
52. Comité pour la scolarisation de la petite fille rurale
53. Association amal al manssour de solidarite et développement
54. Créativité formation initiatives Maroc
55. Soleil eau vent Maroc
56. Centre Madinati de formation et media
57. Observatoire nord pour les droits de l’homme Martil – Tétouan
58. Voix de femme amazighe
59. Observatoire marocain des libertés publiques
60. Collectif marocain pour l’éducation de tous
61. Association sahraoui pour la défense des droits de l’homme Espagne
62. Association Al Hadaf Boulemane
63. Association INSAF

Focal points

Human Rights International Treaties
ILO Conventions
C 87 C 98 C 105 C 100 C 111C 138 C 182
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