Amnesty International leader in Rabat to push for human rights access in Morocco/Western Sahara

Secretary General Salil Shetty due to meet Moroccan Prime Minister

Salil Shetty, the Secretary General of Amnesty International, is visiting Rabat on 17-18 March to meet Prime Minister Abdelilah Benkirane and other government officials to obtain guarantees that the organization will be granted access to conduct fact-finding missions to Morocco and Western Sahara.

Amnesty International has been unable to conduct human rights research in the country for the past 17 months. In June 2015, two delegates were arrested, detained and expelled from the country. The Moroccan authorities have also banned several Amnesty International human rights education events in Morocco over the last year and a half and tightened restrictions on other international and local NGOs.

“We are pleased to have the opportunity to discuss human rights with Prime Minister Benkirane. In the last five years, following the adoption of its new Constitution, Morocco has introduced cautious but important reforms to bring its domestic laws and institutions more in line with international human rights standards. Morocco should now move confidently towards reaping the full benefits of these reforms in practice, including through scrutiny of its human rights record,” said Salil Shetty, Secretary General of Amnesty International.

The delegation is also meeting the Minister of Justice and Liberties, other government ministers, members of Parliament, and representatives of other institutions including Morocco’s National Council for Human Rights, as well as representatives of Moroccan civil society groups including victims of human rights violations.

As well as access for human rights research the delegation will also raise human rights concerns and discuss recommendations on judicial reforms with the Moroccan authorities.

Members of the delegation will be available for interview. To arrange an interview or for more information please contact:

Sara Hashash, Middle East and North Africa Press Officer on [email protected], + 44 (0) 20 7413 5511

For more information please call Amnesty International’s press office in London, UK, on +44 20 7413 5566 or +44 (0) 777 847 2126 email: [email protected]