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CNDH PRESIDENT VISITS US TO INTRODUCE CONSTITUTIONAL REFORMS

Upon the initiative of the Moroccan embassy in the US, President of the (Moroccan) National Human Rights Council (CNDH), Mr. Driss El Yazami, visited Washington DC on July 11-13, 2011, to introduce the new constitutional reforms, mainly in the field of human rights.

He met US administration and Congress officials and representatives of international NGOs and institutions working in the field of human rights and democracy.

Mr. El Yazami met with Ms Tamara Wittes, Deputy Assistant Secretary, Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs (State Department), Ms. Judith Heumann, Senior Advisor for International Disability Issues, Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor (State Department) and Ms. Kathy Fitzpatrick, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor (State Department).

He also met with the representatives of several international institutions and NGOS: Human Rights watch, Freedom House, Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice & Human Rights, American Bar Association, International Republican Institute, German Marshall Found, National Endowment for Democracy and World Justice Project.

Mr. Driss El Yazami was member of the Advisory Committee on the Revision of the Constitution set up to prepare the Moroccan draft constitution. This draft was subject to referendum on July 1st, 2011.

The new fundamental rules and principles highlight commitment of Morocco to the international human rights conventions and attachment to human rights as they are universally recognized.

The Moroccan new constitution devotes a whole chapter of more than 20 articles to human rights and liberties. It provides for respect of human rights, mainly the right to life, equality between men and women in all political, economic, social, cultural and environmental rights, right to physical integrity, right to not be subjected to torture or other cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment. It criminalizes arbitrary arrest and enforced disappearance and prohibits incitement to hatred, violence or racism. It criminalizes genocide and other crimes against humanity.

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