Photo credit: Morocco World News
March 12, 2020.
Three stories you need to read today. Compiled and broken down for you by Reporting Morocco student journalists — every day. Brought to you from the School for International Training’s journalism program, Rabat.
Source: Morocco World News
Lede: Rabat – The Moroccan Royal Gendarmerie arrested 45 would-be irregular migrants on March 10 in the fishing village of Idlan, north of Dakhla, southern Morocco.
Key Background: The operation, part of Morocco’s framework to combat undocumented migration, resulted in seizing important quantities of gasoline and logistical means.
Why this is newsworthy: This is not only another example of the Moroccan government’s attempts to lessen irregular migrant crossing into Europe, but also an example of the government catching on to migrants’ attempts at altering their route from Morocco to Europe.
Lede: It’s deja vu for Morocco’s grain farmers, who are bracing for another dismal harvest as one of the worst droughts in decades withers crops.
Nut Graf: While it’s too early to predict how badly harvests will be affected, output will likely drop from a year earlier without showers soon. That could make the region, a key buyer of European and Black Sea grain, more reliant on imports.
Why this is newsworthy: This article highlights the seriousness of Morocco’s current drought, which is one of the country’s driest periods of time since 1980. The drought may cause many Moroccans dependent on agriculture to find new ways to make a living or migrate to urban areas with more job opportunities. Additionally, Morocco’s economic growth is already expected to stagnate because of the COVID-19 scare, so another decrease in the economic sector does not bode well for Morocco’s overall economy.
Lede: Morocco’s National Committee for Human Rights (CNDH) has finally released its long-awaited report on Al Hoceima’s Hirak protests. Validated by its second general assembly, the document, which is part of the national institution’s 2019 human rights report, was based on thorough investigations, CNDH president Amina Bouayach explained.
Key Background: The report recalls the incident that led to the arrest of Hirak figurehead Nasser Zefzafi, who interrupted a Friday sermon and called an imam a «charlatan» in May 2017. To CNDH, «places of worship, regardless of the religion, must be treated in a special way». It states that what happened before the arrest of Zefzafi «had prevented worshipers from their right to perform Friday prayers».
Why this is newsworthy: The report urged the Moroccan government to investigate allegations of torture during the Hirak protests and arrests. The report shared that the CNDH concluded solitary confinement is not a form of torture, torture allegations have not been sufficiently investigated during trials and those subjected to violence were not informed about the results of the investigations. The report highlights how the Moroccan police and justice system may or may not be working for Hirak protestors.