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Last Updated: Saturday, 17 December 2005, 13:49 GMT
Morocco abuse report criticised
Alleged torture victims
Nearly 17,000 people filed claims of abuse
A human rights group has criticised Morocco's truth commission for not naming abuse perpetrators during the rule of the late King Hassan II.

The Moroccan Association for Human Rights has made its own list of those it wants prosecuted for the abuses.

It also queried the figures provided by the investigating commission, which said 592 people were killed during the repression of 1956 to 1999.

The panel's report by is the first of its kind in the Arab world.

The document - yet to be released in full - is the result of a two-year investigation.

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

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

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

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 report said political figures opposed to King Hassan II had also disappeared without trace, including the main opposition leader in the 1960s, Mehdi Ben Barka.

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

Disputed figures

While welcoming the report as a good start, the Moroccan Association for Human Rights criticised its authors for not naming and shaming the perpetrators of abuse.

King Mohammed VI
Morocco's King Mohammed VI has authorised the report

The group also queried the IER's figures.

"The figures cited by the IER are far from the reality," the group's 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."

Even before the IER publishes its report, the Moroccan news agency, Map, has been detailing some of its content - and that could only happen with the tacit approval at the highest official level, the BBC's Africa editor David Bamford reports.

The IER report has urged the state to apologise to the victims and their families, and King Mohammed VI - having authorised the document - is likely to do this in the near future, our correspondent says.


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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