Morocco. The restrictions on women’s right to control their own bodies became more and more prominent. In March, protest demonstrations were held after a 16-year-old girl was killed after being forced to marry an elderly man who had previously raped her. A court had ordered the marriage in accordance with a law that was said to protect the victims of rape victims from shame. In September, a Dutch vessel from the organization Women on Waves attempted to call the port of Smir to give women the opportunity for abortion and counseling on the issue. Authorities closed the harbor as the ship approached. Article 490 of the Criminal Code, which unlawfully declares sexual relations between unmarried persons, was also criticized during the year.
Democracy demands, heard during the Arab Spring of 2011, were muted, but thousands of people gathered in the city of Casablanca in May in protest of the failure of promised reforms. At least 22 people were arrested and a number of people were injured in the riots in March in the city of Beni Ayach in the north of the country.
- AbbreviationFinder.org: Provides most commonly used acronyms and abbreviations for Morocco. Also includes location map, major cities, and country overview.
At least 14 refugees from the West Africa region were reported to have drowned in October since the boat was capsized off Alhucemas.
The traffic continued to harvest many casualties. At least 42 people were killed on September 4 when a bus drove down a ravine near the city of Zerkten in southern Morocco. In July, 26 people were killed in two different bus accidents.
In August 2013, the king granted amnesty to 48 imprisoned Spaniards. It triggered widespread popular protests when there was a pedophile among those released who had been sentenced to 30 years in prison for raping 11 children aged 4-15 years. The king then withdrew the amnesty.
Seven Saharuis went on hunger strike in September after being subjected to torture at Laayoune prison.
In November 2013, King attended a Washington state visit where Obama praised Morocco’s intentions and commitment to improving human rights. It was not clear what Obama was aiming for, because human rights organizations had not registered improvements.
The regime routinely pursues young artists who criticize conditions under the dictatorship. In June 2014, rapper Mouad Belghouat (aka El Haqed) was sentenced to prison for the third time. He was given 4 months in prison and a $ 1200 fine for “assaulting police officers”. The lawsuit was characterized by the “judge” refusing to defend witnesses and failing to summon the “victims”. El Haqed reports on corruption and police brutality.
In September 2014, the dictatorship banned the implementation of an Amnesty International (AI) youth camp that should have been completed in Bouznika. Since 1998, AI had conducted international youth camps and this was the first time it was to be held in Morocco.
Heavy rainfall in November triggered major flooding in southern Morocco. At least 17 died in the bodies of water.
In March 2015, Morocco joined the Saudi-led coalition that attacked Yemen. The dictatorship sent several bombers bombing the country.
The persecution of journalists increased during 2015. In March, a court in Rabat sentenced journalist Hicham Mansouri to 10 months in prison for “infidelity”. In reality, it was a political judgment.
In July, a Kenitra cartoonist sentenced Khalid Gueddar to three months in prison for “public drunkenness and insult to a public institution”.
In August, a Meknes Hamid Elmahdaouy court sentenced a fine. Elmahdaouy was editor-in-chief of the news site badil.info and was convicted of publishing “fake news” and editing an unauthorized newspaper. The court also suspended badil.info from the Internet for 3 months.
In November, a Casablanca court judge convicted Taoufik Bouachrine of defamation. Bouachrine was editor-in-chief of Akhbar Al Yaoum newspaper and the crime consisted in the publication of leaked diplomatic telegrams. The court sentenced him to 2 months suspended jail and a fine of US $ 150,000.
According to countryaah, the population of Morocco in 2012 was 34,663,492, ranking number 39 in the world. The population growth rate was 1.400% yearly, and the population density was 77.6688 people per km2.