Morocco’s human rights record wins praise in Sweden

The recognition came two months after Morocco was criticized by HRW over crackdown on press freedom

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Human rights reforms recently initiated by Morocco have won praise from Swedish business and political figures this week, Moroccan press agency MAP reported Friday.

In a reception in Stockholm attended by Swedish members of the EU parliament, business figures and representatives of civil society, entrepreneur and philanthropist Karl Karlsson hailed reforms put in place by Moroccan King Mohammed VI in a region faced by political turmoil and security, economic woes.

Karlsson said Morocco’s monarch had initiated “peaceful democratic change” while preserving nationwide stability, according to MAP.

The president of Morocco’s national council of human rights, Driss el-Yazami, said that advances made by the North African kingdom had been numerous, with one notable example being the exclusion of civilians from military courts.

Yazami also noted that progress still needed to be made in Morocco, citing unemployment fuelled by a fast-growing young population entering the workforce.

Carina Hägg, a Swedish member of parliament, said during the meeting that the reforms are not known enough in Morocco.
The Swedish recognition of Morocco’s human right strides came two months the kingdom was criticized by Human Rights Watch.

The rights organization slammed the kingdom’s alleged “use of an anti-terrorism law to prosecute and imprison journalists,” saying this amounts to “serious blow to freedom of expression and editorial independence.”