Morocco recently joined the African Union, pledged to reform many of their policies to help sustain international human rights in the region, and continued blocking events and conferences of one of its biggest human rights organization, the Moroccan Association for Human Rights (AMDH).
The Association founded in 1979, is the biggest organization for human rights with 96 branches in Morocco. It has seen a blockade on its activities since July 2014, without any proper justifications. The Middle East and North Africa director at Human Rights Watch, Sarah Leah Whitson said, “The widespread and consistent nature of the measures against the AMDH is a clear indication of a campaign ordered from above to weaken an outspoken and nationwide voice on human rights.” Many of the meetings blocked included discussion over women’s rights, workers’ rights, and the overall human rights situation in Morocco.
Moroccan authorities were instrumental in preventing pro-independence gatherings in Western Sahara from happening last year. Sarah earlier this year said, “If Morocco respected rights as much as it adopted laws designed to respect rights, it would indeed be the model that its advocates make it out to be.” Although Morocco enacted some laws related to free expression and the rights of domestic workers, victims of human trafficking, and persons with disabilities, it has not fully implemented them, and blocking AMDH shows that this implementation may be slower than expected.