Jurist activist and member of the HRNC Mr. Mustapha Merizak’s response to PJD leader Benkirane

​In response to PJD Secretary General Benkiran’sstatements and attacks against the Human Rights National Council/HRNC and its President Mrs. Amina Bouayyach, with flagrant manner when he was talking about the family status code reform, I am compelled to make the following clarifications, far from any defamation, disregard, treason, or fallacy:

• First: On January 20, 2024, the HRNC general assembly met, in an extraordinary session, at its headquarters in Rabat to discuss the memo project about reforming the Moroccan family status code and its adoption. The meeting lasted more than 4 hours and following the general assembly first debate hosted in Tangier on June 15, 2023 and was an opportunity for all members to take part in the debate to express their opinion and lake proposals, the committee has held several meetings to gather opinions, proposals and recommendations in order to help improve the memo project which was presented at the extraordinary session.
• Second: Following a lengthy debate about all the points and issues on the agenda of the memo project, a public vote was organized and resulted in its adoption by 37 members, with one vote against, one reservation and withdrawal by one member during the debate with absence on voting.
• Third: In avoiding any confusion and misinformation, it’s worth reminding that the council’s memo project is based on three sources:
– The Moroccan Kingdom’s constitution
– Islamic Sharia purposes
– International conventions adopted by Morocco
– Islamic background endorsed by the council
All the proposals made by the council’s debate have been formulated in a manner to respect the tolerant Islamic shariaas shared by all Muslim Moroccans, with respect to constitution and under royal tutorship and this is applied in general to all other main points of the memo, including testament and hereditary in particular, and do not include any idea or proposals that are antagonistic with the Holy Koran. All the proposals aim at handling some issues faced at the level of practical living conditions and which allow some amendments in full harmony with the tolerant Islamic sharia in order to cope with the progress of the society and respond to ambitions and concerns of citizens.
• Fourth: The HRNC is an independent pluralist national institution which examines all issues related to defending and protecting human rights and freedoms and also with ensuring full practice, advancing those rights and safeguarding the dignity, rights and freedoms of Moroccan citizens whether individuals or groups in full respect of world conventions and national backgrounds in the field. The council also contributes to reinforce human rights system, protect, advance it and improve it out of consideration and respect for world aspects of those rights.
• For general information, the council’s memo is among many other memos received by the body in charge of reviewing the family status code, which have come after His Majesty King Mohammed VI’s letter to the government chief asking for reviewing the family status code after several years of requests by Moroccan women associations to include some reforms. It’s worth saying that the body has held more than 80 sessions and listened to more than 1500 associations interested in family, women and children issues. The body has also listened to 21 political parties and 6 official institutions in addition to tens of associations concerned with human rights issues.
• Fifth: I personally consider that the PJD Secretary General’s statements is a free-of-charge aggression against a national institution respected inside Morocco and at the level of international organizations world institutions and forums; and also an insult against the person of the council’s President who is a qualified, honest jurist and human rights militant, respectful and known for her honesty and respected inside and outside Morocco. We also do not accept to qualify the council’s memo as being outlaw, knowing that the council is an institution appointed by His Majesty King Mohammed VI and it regularly presents him an annual report.
• Sixth: The PJD Secretary General is the one who attacks Islamic sharia which is based on creativity, innovation, assiduity and religious renewal looking for values that safeguard the dignity of citizens to ensure security, safety and stability. I also consider the PJD SG’s statements as incitation for disobedience, and I am fully aware that many of his colleagues from inside the same party, for whom I have all the respect, do not actually agree with their secretary general in his aggression against the Human Rights National Council and its President Mrs. Amina Bouayyach.
• Seventh: The HRNC is an independent national pluralist institution, fostering pluralism of opinions and references and any attack against it is not only an attack against its President, but also a violation of this institution’s credibility along with all its staff, members and experts and also a distortion and disregard for the Moroccan state and its prominent legal status, especially that our country presides today the UNHRC.
• Eighth: Member of the HRNC (and member of the committee I am presiding) Ms. Aziza Bakkali’s statement the last 20 session is untrue and inappropriate and so her statements have come within the context of soft ideological bargains in favor of political Islam, particularly that she is member of that party; while at the same she doesn’t respect the legal institution she’s been working for since 2019. She has never objected to any recommendation or any report issued by the council and I hereby testify that she has been respected for her realistic and balanced positions over more than 50 meetings held by the committee; so I wonder what has changed today?
• Ninth: The memo project presented by the HRNC is addressed to all citizens and so cannot be qualified as inappropriate to Islamic background; His Majesty King Mohammed VI is the referee to make the last decision, as Commander of the Faithful.
• Tenth: The memo call for a definition of the family concept is principally aimed at ensuring the legal status and legal protection for existing family kinds and so doesn’t look for legalizing other new kinds of the family outside the constitution texts and national regulations.

• On the basis of what has been said previously, the PJD Secretary General’s statements is a systematic disruption against the body in charge of reviewing the family status code and a blackmail against the state in the name of “religious call” and incitation against national consensus, a violation against the legitimacy of a constitutional institution, a misleading of national public opinion and damaging Morocco’s reputation and disregard for its major reforms process.


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