Next public hearing of human rights victims to be held in Figuig
Morocco, Politics, 1/26/2005
The Justice and Reconciliation Commission (IER) will start on January 29 in Figuig (south-eastern Morocco) the third session of public hearings into human rights abuses committed between 1956 and 1999.
Victims will present during this session oral testimonies of human rights violations that occurred in eastern Morocco, notably in relation with the events of 1963, 1973 and 1984.
The two previous public hearing sessions were held last December 21-22 in Rabat. Other ones are scheduled respectively in Errachidia (central east) and Khenifra (central Morocco).
Similarly to the former sessions, representatives of the Moroccan and foreign press will be present at the hearing, as well as representatives of the civil society, human rights organizations, public authorities, parties and Unions.
The hearings are aimed at consolidating trust in the rule of law and institutions, and guaranteeing that such violations will not occur again.
Witnesses are selected in such a way as to represent both genders and all events, types of violations and detention centers.
In addition to Morocco, public hearings were organized in several other countries that are going through a transition process after a phase of human rights violations. The hearings play a crucial role in these countries' process of reconciliation.
In Morocco, this experience chiefly aims at restoring the dignity of victims whose rights were violated by the state, sharing their suffering and preserving the collective memory.
Three task groups are examining the violations that occurred between 1956 and 1999. An investigation group is in charge of missing persons whose fate has not been determined. It collects information and documents on past human rights violations in all its forms.
The second task group, in charge of compensations, pursues the work of the former independent arbitration committee concerning indemnities on material and moral damages sustained by the victims of forced disappearances and arbitrary detention.
A third group of research and studies prepares research and studies to collect and analyse data and conclusions reached by the other task groups in order to elaborate a final report.
In a recent interview with the Spanish daily "El Pais," king Mohammed VI affirmed that the goal of the hearings is to "reconcile Morocco with its past."
The objective, he said, is to "examine without any complex and any shame, this page of our history, as a starting point to move forward in the best conditions."
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