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Last Updated: Friday, 16 December 2005, 20:21 GMT
Morocco truth panel details abuse
Alleged torture victims
Nearly 17,000 people filed claims of abuse
Morocco's truth commission - the first in the Arab world - has delivered its final report on four decades of human rights abuses under King Hassan II.

Between independence in 1956 and the end of Hassan's reign in 1999, 592 people were killed, the Equity and Reconciliation Committee (IEC) said.

The king, father of current King Mohammed VI, was criticised for suppressing opposition activists.

The report is the result of a two-year investigation.

Thousands of victims and their families were allowed to speak openly to the commission about the abuses.

The 17-member commission, set up in January 2004, heard from 16,861 people, and assessed whether victims should be given compensation and how much they should receive.

'Meaningful'

A summary of the IER report said that it had recommended 9,280 victims were entitled to payments.

Gravestones of seven members of a resistance group
Human rights groups want those responsible to be named

The commission found that 322 people had been shot dead by government troops in protests, and that 174 people had died in arbitrary detention.

The graves of 85 people, who had been detained in secret prisons, were also identified.

The head of the IER, Driss Benzekri, said last month that he thought the report would be significant.

"We hope to see our conclusions and results contribute meaningfully to both the history of our country and to paving the way for building a state of justice," he said.

Criticism

Used most notably in South Africa, truth and reconciliation commissions usually aim to break with human rights abuses of the past by confronting those responsible.

But the IER has been criticised by human rights groups for not naming perpetrators of abuse so they can be prosecuted.

The Moroccan Association for Human Rights has published a list of alleged torturers it thinks should face trial.

They include members of Morocco's current administration.

A spokesman for the association also queried the IER's figures.

"The figures cited by the IER are far from the reality," Abdullah Abdeslam said.

"According to the data we have, 1,500 people had been killed in the protests of 21 March 1965, and between 500 and 1,000 died in the protests of 1981."




SEE ALSO:
Morocco publishes king's salary
29 Dec 04 |  Africa
Morocco's king pardons satirist
07 Jan 04 |  Africa
Country profile: Morocco
22 Sep 05 |  Country profiles


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