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Morocco court sentences activist to prison for claiming torture

[JURIST] A Moroccan court Tuesday sentenced human rights activist Ouafa Charaf to one year in prison after being convicted of falsely alleging that she had been tortured by police. Charaf was also fined [AP report] €4,500 (USD $6,000) by the court. According to Charaf, after leaving a solidarity sit-in in May with a group of laid off workers in Tangiers, she was picked up [AP report] by a group of men in a white van who proceeded to physically and verbally abuse her. Charaf was unable to prove in court that her abductors were members of the police. Morocco's main human rights group L'Association Marocaine des Droits Humains (AMDH) [facebook page] has warned that activists have face increased levels of intimidation from government authorities.

Morocco has been upheld as a modern reformation state in the past decade. In May UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay called on the government of Morocco to enforce [JURIST report] the human rights provisions in its 2011 constitution [text, PDF]. In January Morocco announced [JURIST report] revision to the rape laws that provide amnesty for accused rapists if they marry their alleged victims. The announcement took place a year after the Moroccan government promised to change [JURIST report] the controversial law. In November 2013 Morocco was elected [JURIST report] to the Human Rights Council for the UN. Also in 2013 the US Department of State reported [text, PDF] that Morocco still struggles with a number of human rights issues including human trafficking.

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