A Moroccan draft law that seeks to grant members of the armed forces legal immunity for 'military operations' carried out inside the kingdom has sparked criticism by human rights organizations who say it violates the principle of equal justice under law. The 'basic guarantees for the military' draft law states that 'criminal investigation shall not be applied to members of the Royal Armed Forces who are executing the orders of their commanders…during an operation inside the national more

Morocco’s glittering Mawazine international music festival wrapped up recently with performances by Mariah Carey and Lenny Kravitz, after nine days of showcasing the North African kingdom’s cool factor - even as dissident Moroccan musicians are imprisoned for their anti-establishment lyrics. Just a week before the festival began, Human Rights Watch slammed Morocco for sentencing a rapper to a year in prison for lyrics deemed insulting to police - a common theme in rap music elsewhere in the more

Tens of thousands of Moroccans have taken to the streets of Casablanca in protests against the government’s failure to tackle unemployment and other social woes. Sunday’s rally, which is believed to be the largest opposition protest since a new government took office, was organised by trade unions. They accuse Abdelilah Benkirane, the prime minister of failing to deliver on the pledges of social justice that brought his party to power in November.

Islamists who say they are being unfairly held in Moroccan prisons are staging hunger strikes to put more pressure on the new government to release them, according to campaigners who are in contact with the prisoners. Letters sent from jail by the inmates and shown to Reuters news agency by their supporters, describe a series of protests by prisoners, followed by punishments by their gaolers that include force feeding and torture.

The sentencing of a rapper on 11 May 2012 to one year in prison for 'insulting the police' shows the gap between the strong free-expression language in Morocco's 2011 constitution and the continuing intolerance for those who criticize state institutions, Human Rights Watch said. The sentence was handed down one week before the opening of the international Mawazine music festival in Rabat, which is held under the patronage of King Mohammed VI. Mouad Belghouat, better known as 'al-Haqed' (the more