The House of Councilors adopts by majority the bill relating to the organization and management of penitentiary establishments

Wednesday, June 5, 2024 at 9:20

Rabat – The House of Councilors adopted by majority Bill No. 10.23 on the organization and management of penitentiary establishments, during a legislative plenary session held Tuesday evening.

Presenting this bill, which was approved by 31 Councilors, against five abstentions, the Minister of Justice, Abdellatif Ouahbi, affirmed that this text was developed in accordance with the Instructions of His Majesty King Mohammed VI, aimed at protecting human rights and to place them at the heart of the democratic and modernist societal project led by the Sovereign, with the aim of preserving the dignity of vulnerable categories, such as inmates of penitentiary establishments.

It is also part of the implementation of the provisions of the 2011 Constitution, in particular article 23 which stipulates, for the first time, that every detained person enjoys fundamental rights and humane conditions of detention, as she can benefit from training and reintegration programs, said the minister.

A participatory approach was adopted during the development of this text, particularly in the context of Morocco’s commitment to the international human rights system, specified Mr. Ouahbi, noting that all the references , international rules and standards applicable to the treatment of prisoners have been taken into consideration.

These include the set of minimum rules for the treatment of detainees, the set of principles for the protection of all persons subject to any form of detention or imprisonment, the code of conduct for those responsible for the law enforcement, as well as the United Nations minimum rules for the treatment of detainees, known as the Nelson Mandela Rules.

An exhaustive and thorough review of the law governing prisons was also carried out, the minister said, adding that it took into account the need to preserve the security of prisoners, people, buildings and penitentiary facilities, to contribute to public security, to guarantee the rights and security of detainees and to improve their human conditions.

The revision also aims to reform and correct the behavior of prisoners and facilitate their reintegration into society, he continued, specifying, furthermore, that the provisions relating to the protection of vulnerable categories deprived of liberty have been strengthened, taking into account their individual needs.

The bill also aims to humanize living conditions in prison, considered as a space for social rehabilitation and reintegration into the social fabric, by guaranteeing their autonomy while respecting the law, maintained Mr. Ouahbi.

It guarantees the rights of detainees, which cannot be restricted, by improving the conditions of detention and treatment with the necessary respect for their dignity and human values. This must be done without discriminatory treatment based on race, color, sex, language, religion or any other reason, pending their reintegration into society after their release, he detailed.

According to the minister, the bill also guarantees detainees the right to contact a lawyer of their choice, the right to receive visits, send and receive mail, as well as the right to medical care and leisure activities. . It also provides all the necessary facilities for pursuing studies and professional training. In addition, the text includes provisions concerning exceptional exit permissions in order to maintain family ties and prepare for their reintegration into society.

And to conclude that this bill constitutes another milestone in the process of correcting the shortcomings of current legislation, particularly in the treatment of certain issues linked to the aspects of reintegration and security in the operation of penitentiary establishments.

For their part, the Advisors underlined the importance of the provisions of this bill, which is part of the revision of the legal framework for the management of penitentiary establishments in order to overcome the problems of governance and good management.

They welcomed the human rights-based approach of the text, which mainly aims to improve the services offered to the prison population, particularly in terms of social reintegration.

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