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National Human Rights Council names its human rights training institute after renowned human rights defender late Driss Benzekri

The National Human Rights Council (CNDH) will name its Rabat-based National Human Rights Training Institute (INFDH) after the late Driss Benzekri, at an official ceremony on July 5th, 2017; a tribute to a human rights defender who left his mark on the history of human rights in Morocco, ten years after he passed away.

Driss Benzekri was a founding member of the Moroccan Forum for Truth and Justice, and Secretary General of the former Advisory Council on Human Rights. In November 2003, he was appointed to chair Morocco’s truth committee (the Equity and Reconciliation Commission) which investigated human rights violations between 1956 and 1999.

Following his work at the Moroccan truth committee, which submitted its final report to His Majesty King Mohammed VI in January 2006, Driss Benzekri was appointed chairman of the Advisory Council on Human Rights (1990-2011) to follow up on the implementation of the committee’s recommendations. He passed away on May, 20th 2007 and was buried in his hometown Aït Ouahi, northwest of Morocco.

The CNDH created the INFDH in 2015 to build the capacities of stakeholders working for the protection and promotion of human rights. Over the past two years, more than 80 training sessions were organized for around 2,000 participants (including staff and members of many national human rights institutions from the MENA region and Africa). These trainings primarily focused on the international human rights system, the national mechanism for the prevention of torture, the rights of the child, disability rights, gender equality, migrations, observation of elections, climate justice, discrimination, participatory democracy, corporate social responsibility, the right to fair trial, etc.

Jointly with Moroccan partners (ministries, parliaments, the Moroccan prison administration (the General Delegation of the Penitentiaries and Reinsertion Administration), NGOs, Bar associations, etc., several trainings were implemented through partnerships with UN agencies (UNICEF, UNESCO, UNHCR, IOM, etc.), the European Union delegation, international foundations and NGOs, or within the framework of bilateral cooperation.

CNDH President Driss El Yazami will chair the ceremony, on July, 5th 2017, starting at 6 p.m. at the headquarters of the INFDH training institute, in Rabat, Morocco. Several high ranking officials and public figures, academicians, civil society activists, and high-level representatives of diplomatic corps and international cooperation institutions will attend the ceremony. Close family members, relatives and friends of the late Driss Benzekri will be present at this event.

The training institute will keep open house on the morrow, Thursday July 6th 2017, from 10 a.m. till 6 p.m., giving free access to civil society associations, partners (staff and members), journalists, etc. to visit the facilities of the institute.

Media contact

Abdelghani Berdi:               +212 6 62 76 23 25