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US Congress discusses next Thursday deteriorating human rights situation in Morocco

The “Tom Lantos” Human Rights Commission of the US Congress will hold, next Thursday, a virtual symposium to discuss the deteriorating human rights situation in Morocco, and to raise proposals to the Congress and the US administration to address the situation, according to a statement by the US legislative body.

The statement indicated that the symposium, which will be attended by members of the US Congress, who chairs the commission, James P. McGovern and Christopher Smith, will be open to members of the Congress, the concerned public and the media in general.

According to the statement, Moroccan journalists, academics and analysts will provide a briefing on the human rights situation in Morocco and will make recommendations to the Congress and the administration of US President Joe Biden in this regard.

The statement pointed out that human rights situation in Morocco has deteriorated significantly since 2016, when the Committee to Protect Journalists confirmed that the Moroccan authorities launched campaigns of arrest and harassment against journalists who covered protests in Rif region, land confiscation, corruption, and other issues.

In announcing the symposium, the commission said that prominent journalists such as Hajar Raissouni, Afaf Bernani and Toufik Bouachrine were prosecuted, this is why human rights activists and US officials expressed their concern about the failure to follow due legal procedures in the trial of journalists Souleiman Raissouni and Omar Radi, who were condemned by Moroccan judiciary last July for charges of sexual assault was politically motivated.

The commission stressed that amid large protests in 2011 and popular uprisings, the Moroccan King, Mohammed VI, introduced a new constitution and promised the implement the desired reforms, but ten years later, civil society and human rights organizations have expressed serious concern about the growing threats to civil liberties.

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