The treatment of prisoners complies with the law governing penitentiary establishments and with universally recognized human rights principles, said the General Delegation for Prison Administration and Reintegration (DGAPR), which ensures continuous training for its staff in this area.

In a statement issued following the publication of a press release by an association claiming to defend human rights on the occasion of the International Day in Support of Victims of Torture, including allegations that refer to “the continuation of torture practices in places of detention, including prisons”, the DGAPR stressed that the internal control mechanisms are activated with regard to any complaint relating to ill-treatment or torture.

External control mechanisms are also activated, through the visits of the judicial authorities, provincial commissions and institutional bodies (National Human Rights Council and its regional commissions), the General Delegation pointed out, noting that the door is also open to civil society associations, in particular the Moroccan Observatory of Prisons in order to ensure respect for the rights of detainees in penitentiary establishments. The DGAPR underlines also its efforts aimed at protecting the right of detainees and their families to lodge a complaint, by setting up boxes inside and outside penitentiary establishments, while committing to investigate the content of such complaints and to take appropriate action on the basis of the results of such inquiries.

To further humanize the conditions of detention, the DGAPR said that it had taken a series of measures, including the closure of old establishments and their replacement by new premises meeting international human rights standards, the improvement of food services, as well as the promotion of education and training programs aimed at the reintegration of detainees after their release, in partnership with the supervisory departments and associations of the civil society. With regard to the conditions induced by Covid-19 in Morocco, the General Delegation took all measures to immunize prisons and protect the prison population against the pandemic, the statement underlines, adding that these actions made it possible to achieve very positive results, to curb the spread of the virus and to declare penitentiary establishments free from any case of infection.

The DGAPR continues its action with the same will, determination and vigilance to manage this particular situation, the source said. “National public opinion has become accustomed to the press releases of the aforementioned association, which seems to live outside the era of human rights in the Kingdom”, said the DGAPR, noting that this association persists in evoking practices that no longer exist in Morocco for several years in order to serve known agendas and preserve the funds it receives under the guise of human rights protection.

“This association has failed, on several occasions, to prove the veracity of its allegations”, the DGAPR concluded.