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Recommendation for the establishment of the Equity and Reconciliation Commission”

Rationale

Basing itself on the will of His Majesty King Mohammed VI, may God protect Him, to entrench the values, ideas and culture of human rights as a constant choice of the Kingdom of Morocco, which His Majesty has reiterated with fervent determination. For instance, in the message he addressed on December 10, 1999 on the occasion of the celebration of the 51st anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, His Majesty King Mohamed VI asserted: “We wish to reaffirm our commitment to human rights and the values of liberty and equality, for we are firmly convinced that respect for human rights and the international conventions in which such rights are enshrined is not a luxury or a fashion to which one conforms, but a necessity dictated by the imperatives of construction and development. Some people consider that complying with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights is likely to hamper development and progress, and might clash with real or imagined specific cultural characteristics. For our part, we believe that there is no opposition between the imperatives of development and respect for human rights, just as there is no antagonism between Islam, thanks to which human dignity is firmly rooted, and human rights. That is why we consider that, if human rights are not respected in the future, there will be no future.” Based on the deep philosophical dimensions and the unwavering determination that His Majesty expressed in more than one occasion to turn the page, in a just and fair manner, on enforced disappearance, arbitrary detention and forced political exile, which is a determination to do justice to the victims and to society at large, as part of Morocco’s continuity as a united, reconciled country that resolutely looks forward to a bright future, as His Majesty said in an address to the participants in the 34th conference of the International Federation of Human Rights, held in Casablanca on January 10, 2001, “We have paid particular attention to issues of human rights, which was reflected in many of the procedures and steps we have taken to reconcile Moroccans with their history and settle violations and abuses committed in the past. Our objective was and still is to provide the conditions necessary to secure the future through reparation, rehabilitation of victims and requalification, and to establish safeguards to prevent the recurrence of what happened in the past. Also, our call to overcome hatred and establish a culture of justice-based tolerance is likely to open up prospects for the future and provide the prerequisites for its edification with full pride and responsibility.” Pursuant to the objectives of the tolerant Islamic Sharia which preach virtue and tolerance in behavior and education, and make of justice the basis of governance of people, whom God the Almighty dignifies; As part of deepening the democratic transition led by His Majesty the King, protecting it from any potential risks, and safeguarding it as an irreversible choice; Based on the firm commitment of the Kingdom of Morocco to human rights as they are universally recognized and adopted by the Constitution of the country; Bearing in mind the principles and provisions of the international human rights law in general, and the adherence of the State of Morocco to the international instruments on the subject; The initiatives aimed at reaching a just settlement of past violations began in the last decade of the late King Hassan II’s era, may God rest his soul. During this time, amnesty was granted to hundreds of political prisoners and exiles, most of whom were reinstated in their jobs and received their dues. In addition, hundreds of victims of enforced disappearance were released, former illegal detention centers were closed, and thousands of victims of enforced disappearance and arbitrary detention or their rightful claimants were awarded compensation by the Independent Arbitration Commission for the material and moral damage they underwent; Taking into account the rules of justice and equity on which the Independent Arbitration Commission based its action, as part of its mandate; Considering the assertion by the President of the Advisory Council on Human Rights at the opening of the 17th session of the Council on March 13, 2003 regarding the resoluteness of His Majesty the King to turn the page of the past once and for all with determination and quietude, in a just and fair manner, and Morocco's commitment to settlement and reconciliation in a humane and civilized way; noting that the reductionist approach that was dictated by a certain period has come to an end to the benefit of a comprehensive approach to human rights that Morocco can, or even must, adopt; In support of the responsible and constructive proposals brought forward by human rights activists, politicians and victims participating in the national symposium on the equitable settlement of past gross violations; In continuation of the positive accumulations in the reconstruction of collective and individual memory resulting from creative, cultural and artistic productions as well as from the symbolic truth caravans to former secret detention centers; In furtherance of the still ongoing constructive dialogue among the representatives of the high authorities, and government authorities and the representatives of the victims and human rights movement on the settlement of all outstanding issues related to the past; Inspired by the major conclusions of the various national experiences around the world, the peoples and nations of which bravely reconciled with the past in order to preserve memory, do justice to the victims and strengthen national unity and the rule of law institutionally, legislatively, culturally and educationally, within the framework of truth and reconciliation commissions governed by the rules of justice and equity in the context of transitional justice; Considering all the above, the Advisory Council on Human Rights reaffirms, concerning the turning of the page, its approach which is absolutely antithetical to the calls of hatred, revenge and penal accountability, inspired by the noble objectives that His Majesty King Mohammed VI, may God protect Him, asserted more than once as part of reconciling Moroccans with their history, overcoming rancor, healing the wounds, offering all forms of medical and humanitarian rehabilitation to the victims and their families and their reinsertion, countering the mercantile or ideological exploitation of truth, establishing the culture of equity-based tolerance, putting in place safeguards to ensure the non-recurrence of the past, and opening a new page where all energies are released to build the future of a democratic, modern, strong, open and tolerant Morocco able to address the real and concrete problems facing its young generations; For the grounds mentioned above, and for all the reasons that can complement them for the benefit of justice, equity, reconciliation and memory preservation, and with a view to linking all the gains made and measures taken so far with the rest of the just and legitimate demands of victims, the human rights movement and society, within the framework of a comprehensive approach to a final settlement of the past human rights violations in a humane and civilized manner; On the basis of the Council’s in-depth discussions, extensive deliberations and earnest dialogue concerning the final and fair settlement of the past gross violations; The CCDH is honored to propose to the well-advised view of His Majesty King Mohammed VI, may God protect Him, the following recommendation: The formation of a special commission, in accordance with Article 7 of the Royal Decree of Muharram 15, 1422 (April 10, 2001) concerning the reorganization of the Advisory Council on Human Rights, named “Equity and Reconciliation Commission”, composed of personalities with recognized competence, intellectual integrity and adherence to the principles of human rights, and to be entrusted, within a mandate of nine months renewable, if need be, for a maximum three-month period, with the following tasks: 1. To carry out a comprehensive assessment of the process of settlement of enforced disappearance and arbitrary detention issue since its start, through communication and dialogue with the former Independent Arbitration Commission, the government, the public and administrative authorities concerned, the human rights organizations, and victims’ representatives and families; 2. To continue investigations on the cases of enforced disappearance whose fate remains undetermined, and make all efforts to investigate the facts that have not been elucidated yet; 3. To find solutions for the cases of victims of enforced disappearance and arbitrary detention in which the Commission establishes the death of the victims, by identifying their places of burial to enable relatives to visit them; 4. To carry on with the work of the former Independent Arbitration Commission for Compensation with regard to the compensation for the material and moral injuries sustained by victims of enforced disappearance and arbitrary detention and by their rightful claimants on the same arbitration basis and in accordance with the principles of justice and equity, in order to issue final decisions about the applications it received after the deadline of December 31, 1999, and for this purpose setting a new one-month deadline to receive the remaining relevant applications starting from the date this recommendation was approved by His Majesty the King; 5. To determine a special deadline for applications of rightful claimants regarding the cases mentioned in the second paragraph above; 6. To see to it that all injuries suffered by the victims of enforced disappearance and arbitrary detention are rectified, by formulating proposals and recommendations for the social reinsertion and psychological, medical rehabilitation of the victims who need it, and completing the process of settling the outstanding administrative, legal and professional problems as well as the issues relating to the restitution of property; 7. To draft a report as an official document of the “Equity and Reconciliation Commission” which includes the conclusions of the investigations conducted, an analysis of the violations related to enforced disappearance and arbitrary detention, a presentation of the achievements made in the cases linked to these violations, and the recommendations and proposals to preserve the memory, guarantee the non repetition of the past abuses, erase the effects of the violations, and restore confidence in the supremacy of law and respect for human rights; 8. As part of effectuating the aforementioned missions, the Commission exerts all efforts to unveil the truth that has not been elucidated yet, repair the damage, rehabilitate victims and promote reconciliation; for this reason, all public authorities and state institutions shall bring their support to the Commission and provide it with all information and data allowing it to accomplish its missions; 9. The Commission and its members are bound by the absolute confidentiality of the information sources and of their discussions and deliberations; 10. The work of the Commission is part of the ongoing process of extrajudicial settlement of the human rights abuses that occurred in the past, and cannot under any circumstances whatsoever, after the necessary investigations, call into question the individual responsibility, whatever their nature is, and cannot take any initiative that would create division, trigger hatred or spread sedition. CCDH twentieth meeting Shaaban 17, 1424, corresponding to October 14, 2003

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