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CNDH reiterates its firm position against the death penalty as a serious violation of the right to life

Mrs. Amina Bouayach, Chairperson of the National Human Rights Council (CNDH), reiterated the Council’s firm position against the death penalty as a grave violation of the right to life, which is an inherent, supreme and absolute right. Without it, there is no right, no freedom or justice.

In her statement at the opening session of the General Assembly of the Moroccan Coalition Against the Death Penalty, held on Friday 18 March 2022, in Rabat, Morocco, Mrs. Bouayach stressed that justifying the retaining of the death penalty under the pretext of the Moroccan social or cultural particularity is a miscalculation that does not reach the bold political responsibility required by this historical stage.

CNDH Chairperson also stressed the need to abolish the death penalty as part of reforming the criminal system with a rational and bold approach that is in harmony with, firstly, the Moroccan human rights process, secondly with the Moroccan constitution, thirdly with the recommendation of the Equity and Reconciliation Commission (IER), and fourthly with the Moroccan international obligations. She also underlined that the abolition of the death penalty is the beginning of a concrete implementation of the harmonization of criminal law, the Constitution and international covenants.

Mrs. Bouayach indicated that the CNDH’s position regarding this punishment is part of its missions and principles based on the protection and promotion of human rights, given that this sentence is based on revenge against the convict instead of reform and reintegration into society. She also added that international studies in several countries proved that this punishment is not deterrent for crimes and is ineffective.

The opening session of this meeting was chaired by the Coordinator of the Moroccan Coalition for the Abolition of the Death Penalty.

Minister of Justice, Presidency of the Public Prosecution Office, the NGO “Together Against the Death Penalty”, Moroccan Observatory for Prisons, World Coalition Against the Death Penalty, and representatives of networks of lawyers, journalists and educators against the death penalty participated in this event.

In its memorandum related to reforming the criminal code in October 2019, the CNDH stressed the importance of the official abolition of this penalty. It also called on the public authorities to encourage the abolition by voting for a global moratorium on the implementation of the death penalty in December 2020. The CNDH also called on the Moroccan government, on several occasions, to accede to the Second Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, aiming at the abolition of the death penalty.

Download the CNDH Chairperson statement (Available in Arabic) 

Download the article in Amazigh language