Human Rights Violations in Morocco Condemned
In a report presented [French] in Rabat on Tuesday, Amnesty International called on the Moroccan government to address instances of police brutality, torture, and the repression of free expression. The report detailed excessive force used against peaceful demonstrators of the February 20th movement, as well as harsh prison treatment of Western Saharan militants. Amnesty International also condemned human rights violations by the Saharan independence group the Polisario Front for violence.
Meanwhile, the French magazine Jeune Afrique reported that Morocco’s ministers are the highest paid in Africa. Morocco’s prime minister has a monthly salary of $9,074, compared to $7,508 in Algeria, $3,158 in Tunisia and $7,883 in Spain. Morocco also has one of the highest pay gaps between civil servant pay, averaging around $250, and a minister’s salary of $9,385. These figures do not include bonuses. Ministers then make forty times their employees, and the gap can widen to as much as 100 when compared to working-class Moroccans.
Additionally, a survey conducted [French] by the High Planning Commission of 5,000 young people aged 18 to 45 found little civic engagement. The Commission found only 1% of those surveyed belonged to a political party, and only 4% had participated in protests. However, half of respondents believe Morocco is on the road to democracy and a majority believes in equality of opportunity for men and women. Also, 98.5% said they were proud to be Moroccan.
Also, Tom Stevenson wrote about Morocco’s renewed bid to join the African Union, an organization they are not a part of because of the situation in Western Sahara. Stevenson called the disputed territory “one of international diplomacy’s greatest failures” and argued that Morocco should not be allowed to join, since the AU’s opposition is the only continued institutional pressure on Morocco.