July 20, 2024
Rising suicide rates in Moroccan prisons prompt urgent calls for reform

Rising suicide rates in Moroccan prisons prompt urgent calls for reform

The National Council for Human Rights (CNDH) has raised alarming concerns over the increasing rate of suicides within Moroccan prisons, highlighting the urgent need for comprehensive reforms to address poor conditions and inadequate treatment of inmates.

Disturbing Statistics

According to the latest CNDH report, a staggering 249 inmates have died within Moroccan prisons, a statistic that underscores a severe crisis.

Among these deaths, 185 occurred in hospitals, 33 during transfers between prison and hospital, and 31 within the prison facilities themselves. The causes of these deaths are varied, ranging from natural causes and diseases to suicides.

Alarming Increase in Suicides

The report reveals a worrying trend: the number of suicides in Moroccan prisons is on the rise.

The CNDH emphasizes the need for the implementation of surveillance programs and preventive measures to provide psychological support to inmates, aiming to curb the rising suicide rates.

In addition to the suicides, the report highlights the prevalence of hunger strikes, with 650 recorded in 2022 and 461 in 2023.

This correlation between hunger strikes and suicides points to a deeper systemic issue within the prison system.

The CNDH asserts that it is imperative for Morocco to establish an incarceration policy that respects fundamental human rights, especially given that 102,653 individuals are currently detained across the country.

Call for the Abolition of the Death Penalty

The CNDH’s report goes further to call for the abolition of the death penalty in Morocco.

Despite being one of the few countries that still impose the death sentence, the CNDH urges the government to reconsider this stance.

In 2023 alone, 83 people were sentenced to death, with 81 of these sentences being final and without further recourse.

The report underscores that no current government projects indicate a move towards abolishing the death penalty, despite the CNDH’s appeals.

Need for Urgent Reforms

The CNDH’s report is a stark reminder of the urgent need for reforms within the Moroccan prison system.

The council’s recommendations include the establishment of effective surveillance and support programs for inmates, addressing the underlying issues that lead to hunger strikes and suicides, and reconsidering the use of the death penalty.

By implementing these reforms, Morocco could significantly improve the conditions within its prisons and better safeguard the human rights of its incarcerated population.

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