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Ms. Amina Bouayach: the abolition of the death penalty is a firm institutional position

On the occasion of the World Day against the Death Penalty, celebrated on October 10, the National Human Rights Council (CNDH), the Moroccan Coalition Against the Death Penalty (know under its French acronym CMCPM), Together Against the Death Penalty (know under its French acronym ECPM), the Moroccan parliamentary network against the death penalty, the Network of lawyers against the death penalty, and the Network of journalists against the death penalty organized, on October 6, 2020, an online conference on "The death penalty in Morocco: Law and practice".

On this occasion, Mrs. Amina Bouayach, CNDH Chairperson, reiterated the Council’s commitment to defend the right to life by all legal means and possible tools used to promote the abolition of the death penalty. She also affirmed the support of the CNDH to all national initiatives against the death penalty with the various actors of the abolitionist civil society and boosting networks acting for the abolition.

In addition, Ms. Bouayach announced that the CNDH is planning to advocate the vote on the resolution of the global moratorium on the death penalty, based on the implementation of article 20 of the Constitution that stipulates that the right to life is the most fundamental right of every human being. This right shall be protected by law.

There are currently 76 people on the death row in Morocco, including two women. Between 2000 and 2019, 119 people under the death sentence benefited from the royal pardon, of whom 36 were granted during the year 2019.

For his part, Mr. Alessio Cappellani, Deputy-Head of the European Union Commission delegation in Morocco, stressed, at this conference, the importance of the abolition of the death penalty in European policies which is included in its laws as a condition for joining the European Union. Mr. Cappellani also reminded that justice should not be confused with revenge, considering that the execution is, in its essence, revenge.

Stakeholders in this conference unanimously agreed that the death penalty is a cruel and inhuman punishment that is not in conformity with the principle of the right to life. They called for reforming the criminal law, taking into account the strong movement calling for the abolition of the death penalty and giving special importance to the right of the defense in accordance with international standards and universal principles and references.

This conference is part of the project related to accompanying parliamentarians, national institutions, and civil society towards the abolition of the death penalty in key countries of the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region. It is co-financed by the Delegation of the European Union in Morocco, the Agence Française de Développement (AFD), and the Swiss Department of Foreign Affairs.

Download the summary document (available in French)