No police abuse in Moroccan lockdown


Morocco rejected allegations of police brutality enforcing a lockdown to prevent the spread of coronavirus, after an official in UN High Commissioner for Human Rights’ office included it in a list of countries where crackdowns raised concern.

High Commissioner Michelle Bachelet accused governments of using emergency powers invoked over coronavirus “to quash dissent, control the population and even perpetuate their time in power”.

Bachelet did not name any countries. At a news conference in Geneva, Georgette Gagnon, director of field operations for the UN High Commissioner’s office, included Morocco among 15 countries where police actions in enforcing lockdown measures were deemed most troubling.

Morocco’s diplomatic mission in Geneva said in a statement measures Morocco adopted to contain coronavirus were in line with “the rule of law in full respect of human rights”.

“False information on alleged violations shared by some media are unfounded and not mentioned in any official document of the High Commission for Human Rights,” it said.

Moroccan police registered 77 000 violations of measures to contain the coronavirus and 41 000 people are awaiting trial for this, a Moroccan source said. Prosecutors said five percent are detained.

Morocco confirmed 4 252 cases of coronavirus, including 165 deaths.