Article 29 of the Moroccan Constitution : a Reality or a...

Article 29 of the Moroccan Constitution : a Reality or a Mere Illusion?


[symple_box]khalid boulbourjKhalid Boulbourj is a teacher trainee at the CRMEF. He graduated from the University of Hassan 2, Mohammedia, Morocco. [/symple_box]

The barbaric assail on teacher trainees in Inzgane reflect my country’s long-termed commitment to fostering human rights and instilling mechanisms that protect such rights from any violations. It is paradoxical that Morocco is a member of the UNESCO and CAT (The Committee against Torture),  and has signed several UN humans rights conventions, notable of all is the ICCPR, International Covenant on civil and Political Rights, a convention that seeks to protect humans’ right to peaceful assembly and ban of torture or cruel; inhuman or degrading treatment, among other rights. Yet, and notwithstanding all of these convents, the state deploys armed forces to disperse peaceful assemblies organized by the future of Morocco; its teachers. Teacher trainees were practicing one of their innate rights; the right to peacefully assemble to protest against what they regard as two unsystematic and cruel ministerial decrees. This right is accentuated by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which states in its 20th article that “everyone has the right to freedom of peaceful assembly and association”.

The distressing pictures and videos of teacher trainees being physically abused by Moroccan auxiliary forces and police men went viral only few minutes after their release. The distressing photos and videos capture and reveal the atrociousness with which armed forces dispersed the peaceful march of teacher trainees, who sustained severe injuries from the massacre. Reports indicate that at least two teacher trainees were in a dangerous state, with one of them momentarily losing his sight and the other being temporarily paralyzed.

Moroccans of all ages and walks of life reacted positively with what has become known as “The Black Thursday massacre”, a day in which the blood of teacher trainees ran in the streets of the kingdom, a day when pictures of the Moroccan teacher trainees were featured in national and international media outlets. They, Moroccans, called the government to issue a statement to condemn what happened; wondering who was behind ordering the armed forces to carry out that horrendous massacre.

The 2011 Moroccan constitution stipulates in its 22th article that “the physical or moral integrity of anyone may not be infringed, in whatever circumstance, and by any person that may be, public or private. No one may inflict on others, under whatever pretext there may be, cruel, inhuman, [or] degrading treatments or infringements of [their] dignity. The practice of torture, under any of its forms and by anyone, is a crime punishable by the law”. If we are to closely analyze these latest attacks in the light of article 29 of the Moroccan constitution, we will come to the conviction and conclusion that the moral and physical integrity of Moroccan teacher trainees, who are guaranteed the right of peaceful assembly and demonstration by the 29th article of the Moroccan constitution, were atrociously infringed by the inhuman and degrading assaults of the Moroccan auxiliary forces and police officers. It is therefore mandatory for the government to decisively act in accordance with article 29th of the Moroccan constitution and penalize those responsible for the cruel treatment that targeted Moroccan teachers.

As a human being, I strongly denounce these inhuman acts and demand the opening of an investigation. As a Moroccan whose country’s constitution guarantees the human rights of its citizens, and as a Moroccan whose country seeks to promote human rights, I kindly demand an explanation from the people ,whom I and millions of Moroccans, elected to represent us; my governors.