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The 22nd issue of the Council’s newsletter highlights a deep reform in the Council. Indeed, the Advisory Council on Human Rights has become the National Human Rights Council with a broader mandate and new mission, composition and structure.

The founding law of the National Human Rights Council broadens the mandate on the Council in the field of human rights and freedom protection. According to this new law, the Council monitors human rights at the national and regional levels, intervenes to prevent any possible human rights violations whenever there is a source of tension, investigates and inquires about any human rights violations, visits place of detention, contributes to the implementation of mechanisms provided for in the international human rights conventions ratified by Morocco, studies the harmonization of laws and regulations into force with the provisions of the international human rights conventions and the International Humanitarian Law, presents its annual report on the situation of human rights in Morocco to and discuss its content before the two houses of the parliament.

In addition, the Council has now a regional mandate, through its regional human rights commissions. These mechanisms monitor the situation of human rights at the regional level. They receive and handle complaints and prepare specific or periodic reports on the measures taken to handle regional issues and complaints.

Once created, the National Human Rights Council started implementing its mandate:

- (days after its creation) it sent in March 2011 a fact finding committee to the city of Khouribga (120 Km South-east of Casablanca) to investigate the nature and impact of the events and the way public authorities handled the situation;

- it submitted a memorandum to HM the King to pardon a number of detainees, which the King accepted;

- it sent a committee to inquire in situ the extent of damage and consequences of some events erupted at the University of Souissi I, on 21 and 22 April 2011, in Rabat.

The Council participated in the 17th session of the United National HRC, the sixth high level meeting of the Arab-European Human Rights Dialogue, the 7th meeting of Arab human rights institutions and the General Assembly of the Network of African Human Rights Institutions.

It was re-accredited as an “A status” national human rights institution in full compliance with the Paris Principles until 2015. The International Coordinating Committee of human rights institution for the protection and promotion of human rights (ICC) ratified a recommendation in this regard made by its Sub-Committee on Accreditation during its session (held from 11 to 15 October 2011 in Geneva).

The special report of this issue highlights the main activities of the Council in its new version.