CONSIDERATION OF REPORTS SUBMITTED BY STATES PARTIES UNDER ARTICLE
19 OF THE CONVENTION
Initial reports of States parties due in 1994
1. In the
past three years, human rights have, thanks to the determination of
His Majesty the King, been consolidated on an institutional basis
by the establishment of the Human Rights Advisory Council and were
solemnly consecrated by the 1992 revision of the Constitution, whose
preamble states that the Kingdom of Morocco "reaffirms its commitment
to the universally recognized human rights".
2. A new
phase has now begun with the establishment of the Ministry of Human
Rights, which, in the words of His Majesty the King, is a response
to "one of Morocco's essential needs" and which henceforth
institutionalizes the observance, protection and promotion of human
rights as part of Government policy. The task of this new Government
department is defined in accordance with this political resolve, whereby
Morocco is firmly committed to greater respect for individuals and
the continuing consolidation of the rule of law.
I. INFORMATION OF A GENERAL NATURE
A. Constitutional provisions
3. The preamble
to the 1992 Moroccan Constitution states that the Kingdom of Morocco
adheres to the principles, rights and obligations deriving from the
charters of the international organizations of which it is a member
and "reaffirms its commitment to the universally recognized human
the Constitution does not contain a provision explicitly prohibiting
torture, such a prohibition derives directly from article 10, which
states that: "No one shall be arrested, detained or punished
except under the circumstances and procedures provided for by law".
The principle that offences and penalties must be prescribed by law
is thus clearly stated and the broad wording of article 10 covers
the conduct of criminal proceedings; accordingly, no one may be deprived
of his liberty except in the circumstances and manner prescribed by
law. Article 10 also states that: "The home shall be inviolable.
Searches or checks may take place only under the conditions and terms
prescribed by law".
5. For the
first time in Morocco, article 40 of the Constitution authorizes the
establishment of fact-finding committees in the Chamber of Representatives
"to gather information on specific matters and submit their conclusions
to the Chamber of Representatives". As is well known, fact-finding
committees are widely used in the human rights fields; they will be
able to investigate any human rights violations.
B. International conventions and treaties
6. On 21
June 1993, Morocco ratified the following United Nations conventions:
against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or
Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers
and Members of Their Families;
on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women;
on the Rights of the Child.
C. The authorities concerned
7. The authorities
with jurisdiction over matters covered by the Convention are the judicial
authorities and the police and the gendarmerie which are assigned
responsibility for criminal investigations by the Code of Penal Procedure.
The activities of these authorities are circumscribed by a legal framework
which determines their scope and limits: the 1962 Penal Code and the
1959 Code of Penal Procedure. It should be mentioned that the Code
of Penal Procedure has recently been amended to strengthen the legal
guarantees of suspects, which have been brought into line with the
Convention, in particular by shortening the period of custody and
introducing a medical examination when custody ends.
8. In the
context of their criminal investigation functions, police and gendarmerie
personnel are required to comply with the procedural rules for investigations
laid down by the Code of Penal Procedure. They are thus subject to
monitoring by the judicial authorities. They are also required as
a general rule to abide by the specific regulations of the force to
which they belong.
55 of the Dahir of 14 January 1958 on the Moroccan Gendarmerie
stipulates that "Any act by the gendarmerie that hampers citizens
in the exercise of their individual freedom is an abuse of authority".
It also states that "brigade commanders and gendarmes who, in
the exercise of their functions, commit abuses of authority or impair
the exercise of the freedoms recognized by law shall be liable to
disciplinary penalties, regardless of any judicial proceedings that
may be taken against them". Article 58 of the Dahir provides
that "Any officer, brigade commander or gendarme who, in violation
of this provision, issues, signs or carries out an order or has an
order carried out to arrest an individual or actually arrests him
shall be punished as guilty of arbitrary detention".
10. The desire
to prevent exactions and abuses of authority is reflected in the training
of officers and efforts to increase their awareness of human rights
D. Disciplinary measures and measures to increase awareness
1. Gendarmerie Royale personnel
and refresher training courses are organized at various levels to
enable criminal investigation police officers to improve their knowledge
of respect for human rights, law enforcement and the conditions in
which judicial decisions are to be executed. Brigade commanders attend
periodic lectures given by officials of, inter alia, the Ministry
of Justice and the International Red Cross.
Royale personnel are provided with documentation that enables them
to acquaint themselves with the human rights philosophy, to keep abreast
of amendments to basic documents, particularly in the field of penal
procedure, and to be fully aware of the limits to their activities
as protectors of the rights of citizens and as law enforcement officials
responsible for ensuring security. In addition to this training, the
Commander of the Gendarmerie Royale draws the attention of his officers
to their rights and duties, informs them, for educational and deterrent
purposes, of any incidents that have occurred in Gendarmerie units
in order to prevent other mistakes from being made and describes the
penalties to which they are liable if, in the exercise of their functions,
they are involved in ill-treatment, arbitrary arrests, abuses of authority
or inhuman treatment that is an affront to the dignity of persons
held in custody.
13. In conjunction
with these preventive measures and personnel training and awareness
programmes, the Gendarmerie Royale has instructed its inspection and
monitoring office severely to punish any gendarme who exceeds his
authority or engages in misconduct incompatible with his functions
as a law enforcement official. The office also receives complaints
from citizens against gendarmes and systematically initiates investigations.
14. As far
as penalties are concerned, the Gendarmerie Royale has dismissed 1,456
gendarmes since 1974, 775 of whom were tried for professional misconduct
and 681 discharged from the army by the disciplinary commission (prohibited
from re-enlisting, obliged to take compulsory retirement, having their
contracts terminated). The gendarmes concerned were guilty of serious
professional misconduct (misconduct, repeated punishments and warnings,
15. Of the
gendarmes brought to trial, 319 had committed the following offences
against the dignity of citizens or property:
authority : 10
of privacy : 11
and use of forgeries : 11
and battery : 12
disorderly behaviour : 64
against morality (sexual perversion involving violence, indecent assault,
corruption of minors, abduction of a married woman, adultery) : 38
a superior : 3
were sentenced to terms of 2 months' to 20 years' imprisonment.
the same period, 19 other gendarmes, including 2 officers, were arrested
for drug trafficking, brought to trial and sentenced to six months'
to eight years' rigorous imprisonment.
1974, 30 persons have committed suicide while in custody in Gendarmerie
Royale premises. Thorough judicial investigations were made into these
cases and led to harsh penalties against the personnel responsible
when responsibility was established.
2. Officials of the Criminal Investigation Department
18. On recruitment,
police officers of all ranks are enrolled in special schools where
they receive valuable training which covers, inter alia, civil
and human rights.
19. The Office
of the Director-General attaches particular importance to this teaching
as it believes that instilling police officers with the fundamental
principles of civil and human rights is a safeguard against any form
of arbitrary action. Whatever their rank or function, police officers
entering police college are given an induction course entitled "Introduction
to moral and professional life".
regard to civil and human rights in particular, the training programme
focuses on "civil rights and the right of arrest". It covers,
inter alia, the following subjects: general theory of fundamental
freedoms and human rights, constitutional protection of human rights,
legal protection, code of civil rights, collective rights, the right
of arrest and the rights of detainees. In addition to these subjects,
police colleges have for many years adopted the principle of integrated
instruction which is based on know-how and conduct and applies to
all administrative and criminal investigation police subject-matters.
their training, police officers acquire not only legal and technical
skills, but also learn how to behave accordingly, i.e. how to deal
with the public on the basis of sociological and psychological principles
while constantly bearing in mind the principles of civil and human
rights in order to avoid any violation of individual rights and any
abuse of authority.
22. The purpose
of the training given in police colleges is to ensure that police
officers always operate within the bounds of the law and with a keen
sense of responsibility. Police officers are subject:
(a) At the
regional level: to direct monitoring by the head of the Criminal Investigation
Department, the Governor of the province and the judicial authorities
(Prosecutor's Office); and
(b) At the
national level: to monitoring by the Director-General of the Criminal
Investigation Department through the Office of the Inspector-General.
career, a police officer who engages in personal or professional misconduct
is thus liable to administrative penalties (disciplinary board) or
judicial penalties (courts).
any other administrative department, the Office of the Director-General
of the Criminal Investigation Department has an Office of the Inspector-General,
which, in addition to its basic function of monitoring police operations,
carries out investigations into the conduct of police officers in
their dealings with the public and, in particular, into the grounds
for complaints by citizens relating to any illegal acts or abuses
of authority. If appropriate, the Office of the Inspector-General
suggests disciplinary measures or, if the acts complained of constitute
a criminal offence, the appearance of the officials concerned before
the competent court.
on disciplinary measures taken against police officers in 1993, not
including criminal convictions, were as follows:
violence and abuse of authority: 3
abuse of authority and drunkenness: 5
assault and attempted murder: 3
of favours and invasion of privacy: 5
and abusive use of authority, threats using a firearm and arbitrary
of freedom of movement, abuse of authority and arbitrary arrest: 3
and battery and damaging private property, drunkenness: 5
of a minor, abduction followed by premeditated murder: 3
retirements - 4
of authority and arbitrary arrest: 1
of favours and corruption of a married woman: 1
in fraud, breaking and entering, arbitrary arrest and acts of violence:
of individual freedom of movement, abuse of authority and use of intimidation
followed by extortion: 1
II. INFORMATION RELATING TO ARTICLES 2 TO 16 OF THE CONVENTION
Article 2: Prohibition of acts of torture
25. The constitutional
basis for this prohibition derives from article 10 of the Constitution,
which states that: "No one shall be arrested, detained or punished
except under the circumstances and procedures provided for by law",
thereby establishing the principle of the prohibition of torture by
making arrests, detention and penalties subject to the Penal Code
and the Code of Penal Procedure.
26. The Penal
Code provides for various penalties for violations of individual physical
integrity and for harsher penalties if the violence is committed by
officials or representatives of the Government (see art. 4).
27. The Code
of Penal Procedure determines how the proceedings are to be conducted,
from the preliminary police investigation until the final sentence.
It organizes the protection of the suspect in terms of respect for
his rights and his physical integrity (see art. 11).
Article 3: Prohibition of the return, refoulement or extradition
of a person to another State where he might be in danger of being
subjected to torture
to the principle of the territoriality of criminal law (see art. 5),
aliens and stateless persons in the territory of the Kingdom are subject
to Moroccan criminal law on the same terms as nationals. Accordingly,
any criminal, regardless of his nationality, who commits an offence
in Moroccan territory is tried in Morocco in accordance with domestic
law and serves his sentence there.
29. The entry
of aliens into Morocco and their right to settle and reside there
are subject to the issue of a permit by the Office of the Director-General
of the Criminal Investigation Department in accordance with the legislative
and administrative provisions in force. If the applicant does not
satisfy the requirements, he may:
his application turned down or his permit withdrawn by decision of
the Director-General of the Criminal Investigation Department;
(b) Be returned
by decision of the Governor;
(c) Be expelled
by a decision taken either by the Director-General of the Criminal
Investigation Department or by the Minister of the Interior.
measure is adopted, it is taken by administrative decision against
which the alien concerned may apply for a discretionary remedy, make
a hierarchical appeal to the Ministry of the Interior or apply to
the competent administrative court for a remedy of annulment.
is provided for by the Dahir of 8 November 1958 on the extradition
of aliens. Under article 5 of the Dahir, extradition is not
granted "if the crime or offence in respect of which the application
is made is of a political nature or if the circumstances indicate
that the extradition is politically motivated". Article 5 also
states that: "Acts committed during an insurrection or a civil
war by one of the parties engaged in the struggle and in the interests
of his cause shall give rise to extradition only if they constitute
acts of heinous barbarism or vandalism prohibited by the laws of war
and only when the civil war has ended".
Article 4: Classification of acts of torture, attempts to
commit torture and complicity in torture as crimes
32. Two articles
of the Penal Code specifically refer to torture:
(a) In connection
with the kidnapping, detention or abduction of persons by individuals:
when the person kidnapped, arrested, detained or abducted is subjected
to physical torture, the punishment is harsher and the penalty to
which the criminal is liable is death (Penal Code, art. 438);
who engages in acts of torture or barbarism to commit an act classified
as a crime is also liable to the death penalty (Penal Code, art. 399).
33. In other
cases, the punishment of torture is guaranteed by articles 401 and
403, which classify assault and battery as crimes. These articles
punish assault and battery in proportion to the injury suffered by
penalties - articles 400 and 401:
(i) If the
act entails less than 20 days' unfitness for work, the penalty is
one month to one year of imprisonment and a fine; if the act was premeditated,
committed with felonious intent or involved the use of a weapon, the
term of imprisonment is from 6 months to two years and the fine is
the period of unfitness for work is more than 20 days, the penalty
is one to three years' imprisonment and a fine; if the act involved
premeditation, felonious intent or a weapon, the term of imprisonment
is from two to five years;
penalties - articles 402 and 403:
(i) If the
assault, battery or other acts of violence led to mutilation, amputation
or loss of the use of a member, blindness, loss of an eye or any other
permanent disability, the penalty is five to ten years' imprisonment;
if the act involved premeditation, felonious intent or a weapon, the
term of imprisonment is 10 to 20 years;
the assault, battery or other acts of violence were inflicted without
intent to kill, but nevertheless caused death, the penalty is 10 to
20 years' imprisonment; if premeditation, felonious intent or a weapon
was involved, the penalty is life imprisonment.
34. It may
be seen that premeditation, felonious intent and the use of a weapon
are always aggravating circumstances and that the Penal Code gives
a very broad definition of a weapon: "Any firearm, explosive,
mechanism, pointed, blunt or sharp instrument or object" (Penal
Code, art. 303).
35. If the
violence is committed by a judge, a public official or a law enforcement
official, the penalties are increased in accordance with article 231
of the Penal Code, which provides that: "Any judge, public official
or law enforcement official who, without legitimate grounds, uses
or orders the use of violence against persons in the exercise of or
in connection with his functions shall be punished for such violence
according to its seriousness, pursuant to the provisions of articles
401 and 403; however, the relevant penalty shall be increased as follows:
(a) In the
case of a minor or correctional offence, the penalty shall be double
that laid down for the offence;
(b) In the
case of a crime punishable by a prison sentence, the applicable penalty
shall be life imprisonment.
be emphasized that the Code punishes both those who use violence and
those who order its use.
36. The Penal
Code defines attempt as the commencement of the commission of the
offence or unambiguous acts which are directly intended to commit
the offence and which were interrupted or failed to achieve their
aim only because of circumstances beyond the offender's control (Penal
Code, arts. 114 et seq).
is punishable in the same way as the completed act. This is always
true in the case of crimes; in the case of minor offences, it is so
by virtue of a special provision of the law.
assault and battery is technically difficult, if not impossible, to
imagine as the Code now stands. Assault, battery and other acts of
violence are punishable on the basis of the injury suffered by the
victim. If the act was only an attempt, there was no injury and it
is thus impossible to determine which penalty would have been applied
to the completed offence and, consequently, which penalty applies
39. The punishment
of complicity does not give rise to any problem, however, as article
130 of the Penal Code stipulates that: "An accessory to a crime
or an offence shall be liable to the penalty that applies to that
crime or offence".
Article 5: Extension of Moroccan jurisdiction
40. The principle
of the territoriality of criminal law is established by article 10
of the Penal Code: "All persons in the territory of the Kingdom,
whether nationals, aliens or stateless persons, shall be subject to
Moroccan criminal law, except as otherwise provided by internal public
law or by international law", while article 748 of the Code of
Penal Procedure states that: "Moroccan courts shall be competent
to try any offence committed in Moroccan territory, regardless of
the offender's nationality".
41. The commission
of the principal offence in Morocco gives Moroccan courts jurisdiction,
even if some constituent elements of the offence were committed abroad
and whatever the nationality of the co-perpetrators. Jurisdiction
to try the principal offence extends to all acts of complicity and
concealment, even if they are committed outside the Kingdom by aliens.
11 of the Penal Code provides that Moroccan ships and aircraft are
regarded as part of Moroccan territory, wherever they may be, except
as otherwise provided by international law. Article 749 of the Code
of Penal Procedure extends the jurisdiction of Moroccan courts to
crimes and offences committed in Moroccan seaports on board foreign
751 et seq. of the Code of Penal Procedure stipulate that any
act classified as a crime by Moroccan law or as an offence by Moroccan
and foreign law and committed abroad by a Moroccan may be prosecuted
and tried in Morocco. However, prosecution and trial may take place
only when the offender has returned to Morocco and cannot prove that
he has irrevocably been tried abroad and, if he has been convicted,
that he has served his sentence, that his sentence is time-barred
or that he has been pardoned.
44. In the
case of an offence against a private individual, moreover, proceedings
may be instituted only on the motion of the Prosecutor's Office acting
on a complaint by the individual concerned or on charges filed by
the authorities of the country in which the offence was committed.
committed by an alien outside Morocco come under the jurisdiction
of Moroccan courts and Moroccan law only (Code of Penal Procedure,
art. 755) in the case of a crime against Moroccan State security and
in the case of the crime of counterfeiting coins or notes that are
legal tender in Morocco. With the exception of these two cases and
as the Code of Penal Procedure now stands, an alien who has committed
an offence abroad may not be tried by the Moroccan courts.
Article 6: Arrest and detention of any person suspected
of having committed an act of torture
46. If an
act of torture of which a person is suspected was committed in Moroccan
territory and jurisdiction lies with Moroccan courts and law, the
rules of the Code of Penal Procedure will be applicable (custody,
pre-trial detention) and the suspect will be entitled to the guarantees
laid down by the Code. This is also the case if the offence was committed
abroad by a Moroccan, provided that it is classified as a crime by
Moroccan law or as an offence both by Moroccan law and that of the
country where it was committed. However, if the act of torture was
committed abroad by an alien, the suspect can be arrested and detained
only if a request for extradition has been made by the Government
of the State where the act was committed.
the Dahir of 5 November 1958 on the extradition of aliens,
once the request has been transmitted and deemed acceptable by the
Ministry of Justice, the alien is arrested, questioned as to his identity,
informed of the grounds for his arrest and transferred without delay
to Rabat prison, where he is held while the extradition proceedings
follow their course.
Article 7: Trial or extradition of any person suspected
of an act of torture
a person comes under Moroccan jurisdiction (see art. 5), he is prosecuted
and tried according to the rules laid down by the Penal Code and the
Code of Penal Procedure. The law in no way discriminates, regardless
of who the criminal is and of his nationality.
49. The rules
of the Code of Penal Procedure are thus applied in all cases and the
suspect is entitled to all legal guarantees during the police investigation,
the examination proceedings and the trial: the presumption of innocence,
the right to be assisted by a lawyer, to have his family informed
as soon as he is taken into custody, etc.
proceedings are compulsory for the most serious crimes (those which
are punishable by death or life imprisonment). The evidence is assessed
in the same way, whatever the offence.
51. If the
offence was committed abroad by an alien, extradition may be granted
at the request of the Government of the State where the offence was
committed, in accordance with the provisions of the Dahir of
8 November 1958 on the extradition of aliens.
Article 8: Classification of acts of torture as crimes for
the purposes of extradition treaties
the Dahir of 8 November 1958 does not refer explicitly to acts
of torture, it defines acts which may give rise to extradition broadly
enough to include all acts of torture (art. 4):
acts punishable by criminal penalties under the law of the requesting
punishable by correctional penalties under the law of the requesting
State, i.e. when the maximum penalty under that law is two years or
more or, in the case of a convicted person, when the sentence handed
down by the requesting State's court is two months' imprisonment or
more. The same article also requires the offence to be criminal or
correctional under Moroccan law; it allows extradition for attempt
or complicity, provided that they are punishable both by the law of
the requesting State and by that of the State of which the request
Article 9: Mutual legal assistance between States parties
in any proceedings relating to acts of torture
has signed several bilateral conventions on mutual judicial assistance
and extradition. We may mention the following:
Franco-Moroccan Agreement on Mutual Judicial Assistance, Enforcement
of Judgements and Extradition, dated 5 October 1957, published in
the Bulletin Officiel of 10 January 1958;
Agreement between the Kingdom of Morocco and the Kingdom of Belgium
on Extradition and Mutual Judicial Assistance in Criminal Matters,
dated 27 February 1959 (ratified on 19 May 1960);
Agreement between the Kingdom of Morocco and the Republic of Senegal
on Judicial Cooperation, Enforcement of Judgements and Extradition,
dated 19 May 1968.
Article 10: Education and information regarding the prohibition
54. It has
been Morocco's policy to incorporate human rights into the teaching
and training of officials in the executive and judicial branches in
order to increase awareness of the need for respect for human rights.
55. The various
international legal human rights instruments to which Morocco is a
party (including the Convention against Torture) are currently taught
in the following institutions and establishments: the National Institute
of Judicial Studies, the Training College for Senior Officials (where
senior officials in the Ministry of the Interior are trained), the
Royal Police College, the Staff College of the Gendarmerie Royale
Colleges and the Higher College for Practical Studies of the Gendarmerie
Article 11: Measures to prevent acts of torture during interrogation,
detention and imprisonment
of the duration and conduct of police custody
56. The Code
of Penal Procedure limits police custody to 48 hours; if there is
serious and corroborating evidence against the suspect, the period
may be extended by 24 hours by written authorization of the prosecutor
(art. 68). These periods may be doubled in the case of offences against
57. The Code
makes it mandatory to indicate the date and time police custody begins;
the person held in custody must sign or his refusal to do so must
be indicated (art. 69).
58. The criminal
investigation officer is required to inform the family of the person
held in police custody. He is required to submit a daily list of persons
held in police custody during the past 24 hours to the Crown Prosecutor
and to the Crown Attorney-General (art. 69).
59. If on
completion of the period of custody, the person is handed over to
the judicial authorities, the Crown Prosecutor or the examining magistrate
(depending on the seriousness of the offence) is required to present
the accused for a medical examination if he is requested to do so
or on his own initiative if he has any reason to believe a medical
examination is necessary (arts. 76 and 127).
60. As soon
as the person is handed over to the judicial authorities, he receives
the assistance of a lawyer.
of the activity of criminal investigation officers
61. The criminal
investigation police is subject to two types of monitoring:
by the prosecution service: The criminal investigation is carried
out under the supervision of the Crown Prosecutor by the judges, officers,
officials and agents designated by the Code of Penal Procedure (art.
16). In each appeal court district, it is under the supervision of
the head of the prosecution service (art. 17). This means that the
police are required to inform the Prosecutor of any offence that is
brought to their attention (arts. 59 and 79), to perform such acts
as the Prosecutor's Office requires of them (arts. 73 and 80) and
to obtain the agreement of the Prosecutor's Office for certain acts,
such as the extension of police custody;
by the criminal chamber of the appeal court (arts. 17 and 244 et seq.):
The criminal chamber of the appeal court supervises the criminal investigation
officers operating in that capacity. When it finds that a criminal
investigation officer has committed a fault in the exercise of his
functions, it may, without prejudice to any possible disciplinary
proceedings by his superiors, inform him of its findings, suspend
him or dismiss him definitively from his functions. If it considers
that he has committed a criminal offence, it refers the case to the
prosecution service for the purpose of prosecution (art. 248).
of the examination proceedings
62. The president
of the criminal chamber has the authority to monitor and supervise
proceedings instituted in the appeal court. He monitors in particular,
the lawfulness of any pre-trial detention and, in this respect, may
visit prisons under his jurisdiction to inspect them and check on
the situation of an accused person in detention. If he finds that
there are no grounds for the person to be detained, he makes the necessary
recommendations to the examining magistrate (Code of Penal Procedure,
arts. 241 to 243).
are visited at least once every three months by the Crown Prosecutor
and the examining magistrate. These officials monitor the lawfulness
of detentions and ensure that the registers are properly kept"
(Code of Penal Procedure, art. 660).
of the situation of convicted prisoners serving their sentence
64. In each
province and prefecture, a committee which is presided by the Governor
or his representative and is composed of judges, Crown Prosecutors,
a doctor and members appointed by the Ministry of Justice is responsible
for guaranteeing the safety and conditions of detention of detainees.
To this end, it is authorized to visit prisons and to draw attention
to any abuses which are to be halted and of which it informs the Minister
of Justice (Code of Penal Procedure, arts. 661 and 662).
65. It should
also be mentioned that prisons are visited at random by the Minister
of Justice and the Minister for Human Rights.
Article 12: Investigation into the commission of an act
66. The Crown
Prosecutor is required to present accused persons for medical examination
by a forensic physician if requested to do so or if he finds that
there are grounds for such an examination (Code of Penal Procedure,
art. 76); the examining magistrate is under the same obligation (Code
of Penal Procedure, art. 127).
67. In addition,
"Professional misconduct by criminal investigation officers in
the exercise of their functions is brought before the criminal chamber
either by the head of the prosecution service or by its President.
The criminal chamber may act on its own motion when examining any
case referred to it" (Code of Penal Procedure, art. 245).
a case has been referred to it, it conducts an investigation"
(Code of Penal Procedure, art. 246). When submissions have been made
by the head of the prosecution service, it hears the criminal investigation
officer against whom charges have been brought. He is given an opportunity
to take cognizance of his file and may be assisted by a lawyer. If
the facts are confirmed, disciplinary proceedings may be brought against
him, he may be suspended or he may be dismissed from the criminal
investigation police and have to face criminal charges (see art. 11,
para. 61 above).
266 to 270 of the Code of Penal Procedure provide for exceptions to
the normal rules of jurisdiction for the investigation and trial of
offences of which executive and judicial officials are accused; the
aim is to prevent investigations and trial from being too accommodating
70. If the
suspect or accused is a judge of the court of first instance or a
communal or district court, a commander (pacha) or a chief
superintendent (super-caïd) or a superintendent (caïd)
or a criminal investigation police officer acting in the exercise
of his functions, the first president of the appeal court, at the
request of the Prosecutor's Office or the claimant for criminal indemnification,
orders the case to be heard, if appropriate, by an examining magistrate
chosen from outside the district in which the accused exercises his
functions (arts. 269 and 270, para. 1).
Article 13: The right of victims to lodge complaints with
the competent authorities
victim has been released
on the circumstances, two remedies are available to a victim to have
the perpetrator of the offence prosecuted:
(a) A direct
summons, which involves summoning the accused directly to appear before
the trial court without going through the investigation stage. The
Code of Penal Procedure defines the scope of and regulations relating
to direct summonses (arts. 366 to 370, 393, 394 and 419);
a complaint and bringing a suit for criminal indemnification, whereby
the victim brings the case before the examining magistrate, informs
him of the injurious acts and claims damages for the injury suffered,
thus setting in motion a public right of action. In this connection,
the appropriate procedure is determined by the provisions of the Code
of Penal Procedure. It should also be noted that a person who claims
to have been injured as a result of an offence may bring criminal
indemnification proceedings before the trial court when the public
right of action has been set in motion by the Prosecutor's Office;
the requirements are set out in articles 333 to 337 of the Code of
victim is still detained
72. If the
victim is still detained after being tortured, he may request the
medical examination provided for by articles 76 and 127 of the Code
of Penal Procedure (see art. 11, para. 59 above). When ill-treatment
has been proved, the Prosecutor's Office refers the case to the criminal
chamber of the appeal court.
Article 14: Right of victims to fair compensation
ill-treatment has been proved, the victim of an act of torture is
entitled to compensation in proportion to the injury suffered on civil
liability terms. The same is true of his heirs in the event of his
death (art. 77 et seq. of the Dahir containing the Code of
Obligations and Contracts; Moroccan case law is also well established
along these lines).
Article 15: Value of statements obtained under torture
to the Code of Penal Procedure, offences may be proved by any type
of evidence and the judge decides on the basis of his personal conviction
289 provides that the judge may base his decision only on evidence
produced in court and discussed orally before him.
76. The judge
is therefore not bound by a statement (confession or testimony), even
if it is made in court, if he believes that other evidence casts doubt
on its truthfulness.
fortiori, the judge is not obliged to take account of a confession
made out of court, for example, a confession set out in a report.
Records may, of course, be submitted as evidence, although their value
varies: where crimes are concerned, they are simply information (art.
293) and, in the case of ordinary and minor offences, they are accepted
as evidence in the absence of proof to the contrary (art. 291).
the Supreme Court has clearly established the principle that reports
"confirm that a statement was made, but not that it is true",
thereby allowing the judge to dismiss a confession or statement set
out in a report regardless of its value as evidence.
Article 16: Prohibition of other cruel, inhuman or degrading
treatment or punishment
79. In this
connection, attention may be drawn to the following:
225 of the Penal Code: "Any judge, public official, agent or
representative of the authorities or of the forces of law and order
who orders or commits any arbitrary act which is a violation either
of individual liberty or the civil rights of one or more citizens
shall be punished by civic dishonour ...";
436 provides for penalties of up to 30 years' imprisonment for "anyone
who abducts, arrests, detains or kidnaps any person without an order
from the established authorities and in circumstances in which the
law does not permit or order individuals to be held". Persons
guilty of the offence are liable to the death penalty "if the
person who is abducted, detained or kidnapped has been subjected to
physical torture" (art. 438);
on a person's honour or reputation are punishable under articles 442
to 448 of the Penal Code;
(d) It should
also be mentioned that Morocco has ratified, inter alia, the
Supplementary Convention on the Abolition of Slavery, the Slave Trade,
and Institutions and Practices Similar to Slavery (dated 7 September
1956), the Convention for the Suppression of the Traffic in Persons
and of the Exploitation of the Prostitution of Others, dated 1950
(Dahir No. 1.74,12 of 2 August 1974), International Labour
Organisation Convention (No. 29) concerning Forced Labour (Dahir
No. 1,57,294 of 16 December 1957) and Convention No. 105 concerning
the Abolition of Forced Labour (Royal Decree No. 097-66, dated 22
brief summary of the constitutional, legislative and regulatory provisions
for the implementation of the Convention against Torture and Other
Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment allows the following
conclusions to be drawn:
Kingdom of Morocco is very concerned about all aspects of respect
for human rights and is working actively to ensure the implementation
of the conventions designed to safeguard these rights;
many developing countries, the Kingdom of Morocco faces considerable
obstacles in implementing a policy designed to enable all citizens,
without discrimination, fully to enjoy their rights;
the wise guidance of His Majesty the King, the Kingdom of Morocco
spares no effort to assume its obligations, one of which is to promote
the advancement and well-being of all Moroccans.