Justice minister argues for modernization of judiciary system
Morocco, Judicial, 6/17/1998
Moroccan justice minister, Omar Azzimane, argued for the modernization of the judiciary system through rationalization, computerization and more transparency.
In an interview with Moroccan leftist daily "Liberation", the minister called justice "one of the pillars of the state authority", "one of the elements of social coherence" and the "basis of legal security and predictability" that determines confidence which is the foundation of the good operation of economy.
To a question on the problem of corruption, he said this plague that ruins economy, the social system and values should be eradicated, reassuring that every time there are consistent and serious facts, the case is referred to the special court of justice and judges do their job.
He also noted that drugs trafficking is a sensitive and delicate problem and recalled that for some ten years, Morocco has been making considerable efforts to control this plague and there were trials of drug dealers and barons as well as authorities involved in this activity. He explained that Morocco has enacted a rigorous and repressive legislation and that courts are very strict when dealing with these cases. This action was undertaken with the collaboration of the European Union. However, the Europeans are not helping and have not kept their promises and commitments to contribute financially and technically in the struggle against drugs.
Azzimane further complained that the work is being complicated by the fact that some countries are not sanctioning drugs consumption or intervene to obtain the release of European drug deals arrested and imprisoned in Morocco.
Regarding the situation of prisons in Morocco, he conceded that more efforts are needed. He recalled that following the fire that broke out in a prison in Casablanca (last September, killing 28 inmates), the government set up an inter-ministerial commission that decided among others, to transform some farms into "agricultural penitentiaries". The health ministry is helping in the prisons' health centers while other departments are taking action to struggle against illiteracy among inmates, promote religious education and create workshops, he said.
To a question on political detainees, he said the human rights ministry drew in 1993 a list of these detainees from all possible sources and presented it to the "Advisory Council on Human Rights" in preparation of the 1994 general amnesty which led to the release of all political prisoners (421), Map reported.
He went on that the same work was done for all the persons reported missing and the ministry has conducted a meticulous investigation on all cases.
For the minister, Amnesty International's report on human rights in Morocco lacked impartiality. He regretted that the London-based human rights organization (which opened a representation office in Morocco in early June) has not made "the effort to follow closely and neutrally what happened in Morocco in the past years."
"The report we have been given reminds us of the reports that were compiled ten years ago. It does not recognize the undeniable changes that have taken place in the country," he said, adding "I would have liked Amnesty to remain faithful to its motto: Objectivity, impartiality and intransigence both positively and negatively."
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