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CNDH report on Gdeim Izik trail observation: 'The case meets the conditions of a fair trial'


Morocco’s National Human Rights Council (CNDH) held a press conference on Thursday 2 November 2017 at its headquarters in Rabat. During this press conference, the CNDH presented the main conclusions of its report on the Gdeim Izik trail observation. 23 defendants were prosecuted during this trial. They were arrested following the death of 11 law enforcement officers at the events of dismantling the Gdeim Izik camp (a site close to Laayoune city) on 8 November 2010.

The CNDH report focused mainly on whether the case met the conditions of a fair trial, as provided for by the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.

The press conference was chaired by Mr. Driss El Yazami, CNDH President, Mr. Mohammed Essabbar, CNDH Secretary General, and the CNDH observing team. They informed that the trial met the conditions of a fair trial as indicated in the Moroccan Constitution, the Article 14 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and other relevant international texts. They explained that these considerations are reflected at several levels:

  • The nature and composition of the court that examined the case and the guarantees of its independence and impartiality;
  • Public hearings, the presence of the parties, the transparency of the trial and the media coverage of every stage;
  • The availability of simultaneous translation from/to multiple languages;
  • The far-reaching implementation of the investigative measures of the case, including:

·         Medical expertise

·         The summoning of prosecution and defence witnesses and the drafters of the judicial police reports

·         The presentation of evidences (video films, seized items, CDs, records of intercepted communications, reports of trips abroad, photographs, etc.)

·         Confrontation between the witnesses and the accused

  • The guarantee of sufficient time and appropriate conditions for the parties to express their views, defend themselves and defend their legal position, raise objections and present requests;
  • A balanced and suitable time for debates and for parties.

To be noted, the CNDH mandated a team of 7 staff to monitor the trial before the Appeal Court as of December 2016 to 19 July 2017.

It should also be recalled that the CNDH has already published a preliminary report on the conduct of the trial before the military court. Later on, the decisions rendered by this court were revoked and the case was brought before the Court of Appeal, following of the promulgation of a new law on military justice stipulating that the military court is no longer competent to prosecute civilians.

Download the CNDH report on Gdeim Izik trail observation (available only in Arabic)

Download the summary of the CNDH report on Gdeim Izik trail observation (available only in Arabic)