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Morocco moves towards the abolition of the death penalty

Justice Minister Mohamed Aujjar confirmed that the Kingdom of Morocco, in line with the global trend towards the gradual abolition of the death penalty, is fully committed to this logic that it will join in the near future.

This choice, in perfect harmony with the Kingdom’s human rights obligations, is based on a set of key indicators, concerning the political, legal and practical aspects that will lead to a criminal law bill.

The latter aims to reduce the crimes punishable by death sentence and limit the number of serious and dangerous crimes (terrorism, genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes …). “The Ministry of Justice has made explicit mention in the criminal bill that the death penalty should be replaced by the most severe penalty for an identical act,” said the minister.

Mohamed Aujjar who spoke at the opening session of the General Assembly of the Moroccan Coalition Against the Death Penalty (CMCPM) in Rabat (18-19 January 2019) under the theme Continuous Mobilization for the Abolition of the Punishment, in the presence of guests representing national and international institutions, stressed that Morocco had adopted a “restrictive approach” to the death penalty.

“The Moroccan legislator has put in place a set of legal restrictions to the death penalty in accordance with the provisions of the current criminal procedure law and its draft revision and application. The royal amnesty plays an important role in the rebalancing of punitive politics by turning many death sentences into life imprisonment or fixed-term imprisonment. Between 2000 and 2018, a total of 118 cases benefited,” said Aujjar.

And to point out the context of the recrudescence of terrorist crimes like what happened with the drama of Imlil. The high frequencies of organized and cross-border crime also explain Morocco’s decision to abstain from the international vote on the death penalty last December.

“The abolition of the death penalty could be achieved over time, thanks to collective action in this direction, to the evolution of local attitudes, as well as an awareness of human rights”, concludes the Minister.

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