Practice Relating to Rule 90. Torture and Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment
Morocco’s Disciplinary Regulations (1974) prohibits the torture and cruel treatment of the sick, wounded and shipwrecked, prisoners and civilians.
Morocco’s Penal Code (1962) provides:
Any magistrate, public official, agent or holder of public authority or power who, without lawful motive, in the exercise or by occasion of the exercise of his functions, uses or makes another use of violence against persons, is punished for this violence, according to its gravity, following the provisions in articles 401 to 403; but the applicable penalty is aggravated as follows:
In the case of a police offence or a correctional offence, the applicable penalty is twice that provided for the offence;
Punished with death is anyone who, for the execution of an act classified as crime, employs torture or acts of barbarity.
Whoever deliberately injures or beats another person or commits any other acts of violence or assault, whether they have caused neither illness nor incapacity, or have led to an illness or incapacity to work not exceeding twenty days, is punished with imprisonment for one month to one year and with a fine of 200 to 500 dirhams or with one of these penalties alone.
If there was premeditation or ambush or if a weapon was used, the penalty is imprisonment for between six months and two years and a fine of 200 to 1000 dirhams.
If the injuries or beatings or other acts of violence or assault have led to incapacity exceeding twenty days, the penalty is imprisonment for between one and three years and a fine of 200 to 1000 dirhams.
If there was premeditation or ambush or if a weapon was used, the penalty is imprisonment for two to five years and a fine of 250 to 2000 dirhams.
If the injuries or beatings or other acts of violence or assault have led to mutilation, amputation or deprivation of the use of a limb, to blindness, loss of an eye or any other permanent infirmity, the penalty is imprisonment for five to ten years.
If there was premeditation or ambush or if a weapon was used, the penalty is imprisonment for ten to twenty years.
If the injuries or beatings or other acts of violence or assault, carried out deliberately but without intention to kill, nevertheless have occasioned death, the penalty is imprisonment for ten to twenty years.
If there was premeditation or ambush or if a weapon was used, the penalty is life imprisonment.
In 2003, in its third periodic report to the UN Committee against Torture, Morocco stated:
26. “No one may be arrested, detained or punished except in the circumstances and forms provided for by law”; it is in these terms that torture is prohibited by the Constitution (art. 10), which, by making the procedures pertaining to arrest, detention and punishment subject to the provisions of the Criminal Code and the Code of Criminal Procedure, upholds the principle of the prohibition of torture.
33. All acts of violence and assault and battery perpetrated against the person are forbidden under the Moroccan Criminal Code, in particular article 399, which specifically refers to torture. Anyone who engages in torture or acts of barbarity in committing an act classified as a criminal offence is liable to capital punishment.
In 2004, in its fifth periodic report to the Human Rights Committee, Morocco stated:
Moroccan criminal law guarantees the right to security of person in the same way for everyone, providing protection for every person against abuse or ill-treatment, regardless of whether it is at the hands of a government employee (Criminal Code, arts. 224–232) or a private individual (art. 400 et seq.).
In 2009, in its fourth periodic report to the Committee against Torture, Morocco stated:
Under Moroccan law no orders from a higher authority, exceptional circumstances, state of war or the threat of war, threat to national security, internal political instability or any emergency situation could be used as justification for the use of torture or any other form of cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment.